Education, History

CNY Muslims React To Trump Presidency

The Muslim community in Central New York expresses their concerns about a potential ban on Muslim immigration into the United States.

By Robert Schiff SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – It’s been a week since Election Day, but many Muslims here in Central New York are still coming to grips with the realization of Donald Trump being the next President of the United States.

A potential ban on Muslim immigration into the U.S was a central focus of Trump’s campaign, The president-elect originally proposed the idea on his website in December 2015.

“It was very terrifying for me and my family,” said Ahmed Salah, a Biology student at Syracuse University, after finding out Donald Trump won the election.

Besides the ban on Muslims, Trump has also proposed a registry, which would require Muslims to publicly document their religion.

“Presidents don’t have unlimited power,” said Elliott Bazzano, a Religious Studies Assistant Professor at Le Moyne College. “Our government is set up the way it is for good reasons, to keep people in check.”

“Some of the things he’s suggested are unconstitutional,” said Mohamed Khater, the President of the Islamic Society of Central New York. “You can’t just do the things that you said you were going to do to make the voters happy.”

Despite Trump’s stance on a potential ban,¬†Khater’s message to the Muslim community is to remain optimistic.

“You can’t undo the elections. You have to deal with it,” said Khater. “We will see what he is going to do, and if it is a departure from the things he said in the campaign, that’s a welcomed sign.”

Khater credited his optimism to the practices of Islam. He does not think Trump should be held accountable, only if the words he has spewed becomes a reality. Until then, according to Khater, Trump deserves a clean slate.

“You have to give him a chance to see whether he’s going to act upon what he said he’s going to do,” said Khater. “There is a community and they are citizens of this country, and they
have to be dealt with the right way, and the proper way, under the constitution.”




Muslims praying at the Islamic Society of Central New York. (c) 2016 Robert Schiff

Elliott Bazzano is a professor of Religious Studies at Le Moyne College. (c) 2016 Robert Schiff

The Islamic Society of Central New York in Syracuse. (c) 2016 Robert Schiff