Local Muslim community advocates speaking out after Cruz’s comments

FILE - In this Dec. 23, 2015 file photo, Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz speaks in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter, File)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — “Where there is an expanding presence of radical Islamic terrorism we need law enforcement resources directed there,” said Ted Cruz, a Republican Presidential hopeful after the Brussels attacks.  “We need national security resources directed there.”

In a statement, Cruz went on saying Muslim communities need to be patrolled, a statement many Western New York Muslims are upset about.

“The acts of certain Muslims are being generalized to the nation of Islam and the religion,” said Nasir Khan, the President for the Buffalo group of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. “That’s unfair and improper.”

Khan says he’s okay with Muslims being monitored if they’re treated like everyone else but he draws his support if the monitoring would go too far.

“If there is harassment involved and we’re being marginalized because we’re Muslim isn’t fair,” said Khan.

The president of the Niagara Falls based community said he feels there are many misconceptions about his religion and he believes education about Islam is important for everyone, including politicians. He said, through educating others about world religions like Islam, people will learn it’s a community, peace-based faith and not one that inspires hate and terrorist activity, like ISIS is showcasing and promoting.

“We should call it what it is – which is terrorism, extremism, barbarism but it has nothing to do with the religion of Islam,” said Khan.

“In order to defeat a terrorist organization you have to go after them, not the religion,” said Julie Algubani, a Muslim community advocate who was born and raised in Western New York. She said, recently, she hasn’t felt safe in the community where she has lived her whole life.

“The politicians coming out with all of this bigotry is definitely encouraging hate,” said Algubani who tells me in the last few months she has been receiving dirty looks and heard comments made about her Hijab and her religion more frequently than before recent terrorist attacks. She feels it is because some politicians are giving religious bias and hatred a main stage during this election.

“That’s not what America stands for,” said Algubani, a mother who said she wouldn’t want her kids raised in a country whose next potential leaders could have harsh words and views against her religion. “It’s not what we were raised to believe what America stands for.”

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