AMHERST, N.Y. — Dr. Khalid Qazi, who heads the Muslim Public Affairs Council of Western New York, says he’s not surprised by President Trump’s executive order that bans all persons from certain so-called “terror prone” countries from entering the United States for 90 days.
“As a candidate, President Trump had mentioned it more than once that he wants to ban Muslims from entering the United States, and by naming these seven countries, that might be the first step towards that goal,” said Qazi.
Trump also suspended the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days. Qazi says while he understands it’s the president’s job to keep Americans safe, he thinks this move could do more harm than good in the long run.
“The reason is that even now our troops are in Iraq, they are in many countries in the Middle East, and we need those countries to work with us, sharing information with us, sharing intelligence with us, and helping our troops to weed out the radicals and the bad elements. The question is whether such policies will help us do that,” said Qazi.
He also fears the move could be used as a recruitment tool for terrorist groups.
“In that context, we are truly playing into the hands of the narrative that has given our radicals something. That’s the last thing we want to do,” said Qazi.
As protesters take to the streets, Qazi say the lasting impact remains to be seen, but he does think there will be more legal challenges.
“I think this is a problem that will need diplomatic solutions, political solutions, military solutions, educational, social, and other solutions. So, this is a problem that is multi-faceted and therefore requires a multi-faceted solution. Muslims are an integral part of that solution,” said Qazi.