Media voices condemn Trump's anti-Muslim statements

Presidential candidate Donald Trump's call to ban Muslims from entering the United States has dominated America's attention for the last 48 hours.

And, it hits very close to home for many Muslim-Americans living here in metro Detroit.

"We stand together ... better than bigotry."  A bold editorial on the front page of Wednesday's Detroit Free Press, joining a growing number of papers condemning Trump's latest call to ban Muslims from entering the country.

"The problem is extremism," said Osama Siblani, the publisher of the Arab-American News. "Extremism is spreading everywhere. If we cannot see what Trump is saying then we must be either deaf or blind.

"I mean - this is extremism, this is growing terrorists here in America."

Siblani said he is grateful for the voices he hears denouncing Donald Trump.

"It is really heartening to see the overwhelming support that we have been receiving as a Muslim community from around the nation," Siblani said. "America is renewing its commitment to diversity inclusion and tolerance."

On Wednesday the Anti-Defamation League is also speaking out against Trump's rhetoric.

"Religious affiliation should never be a test for immigration to our country," said David Kurzmann director, Jewish Community Relations Council. "It runs counter to American values and to our heritage

"We've made this mistake before as a country and we cannot make it again."

The Philadelphia Daily News is now likening Trump to Hitler.

Yet Trump's poll numbers remain high and Siblani says that's a concern for the Arab-American community.

"My worry is really coming from the fact that he is being cheered on by so many people," Siblani said.

Conservative commentator Rocky Raczkowski - a former state representative who also served in the Middle East, says he largely supports the Free Press editorial. But he says there is some truth to part of Trump's message.

"I'm not apologizing or commenting in favor or against Donald Trump," said Raczkowski. "What I am saying is when the news media really does their job they will realize that what Donald Trump further said in his comments is to improve our vetting process.

"And I think all individuals including Islamic leaders in the United States will agree with that."

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