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CAIR Says Trump’s Plan to Subject Immigrants to an Ideological ‘Test’ Violates American Values

CAIR logo(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/15/16) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, said today that GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s newly-announced proposal to subject immigrants to an ideological “test†is a violation of American values.

In a speech today in Ohio, Trump also repeated his demand that the ill-defined hot button term “radical Islamic terrorism†be used to describe America’s ongoing struggle against deviant groups like ISIS.

In a statement, CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw said:

“In today’s speech, Donald Trump proposed an ideological ‘test’ to ensure that potential immigrants support American values. American values include the right to hold unpopular or non-majority opinions. Trump himself would likely not gain entry into the United States if tested for basic American values of tolerance and pluralism, given that his proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States and his views on Latinos are in complete contradiction to America’s traditions of ethnic diversity and religious freedom.  

“Trump’s proposal for a ‘commission’ that would identify for Americans the tenets of ‘radical Islam’ crosses the line into government interference in religious beliefs. Will a Trump administration entangle itself in interpretation of religious principles? Who will Trump appoint to decide what constitutes ‘radical Islam’? His current stable of Islamophobic advisers indicates that this commission would be packed with anti-Muslim bigots.

SEE: CAIR Slams Trump’s Naming of Islamophobic Adviser

“This government promotion of a state version of a particular religion would violate the First Amendment and put America on a path to a society in which those in power get to choose which beliefs are ‘correct’ and which are ‘incorrect.’ 

“Donald Trump obviously views millions of ordinary American Muslims not as fellow citizens who contribute to this great nation, but as foreign intruders who must be treated with suspicion and whose constitutional rights may be curtailed.â€

Last week, CAIR challenged Trump to repudiate a top adviser, who spoke at the Republican convention and was considered as a vice presidential pick, for stating in an address to an anti-Muslim hate group that Islam is a “cancer†and not a real religion.

CAIR also recently demanded that Donald Trump apologize for disparaging the parents of a Muslim who died while serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq.

SEE: CAIR Demands Apology from Donald Trump for Disparagement of Muslim Gold Star Family

The Washington-based civil rights organization has previously spoken out against Trump’s apparent support for an Islamophobic town hall question and demanded that Trump “stop the bigotry†after he falsely claimed on Fox News that assimilation of American Muslims is “pretty close†to nonexistent and that a “percentage†of American Muslims “want to do what this maniac did in Orlando.â€

SEE: CAIR Says Donald Trump’s ‘Hibi-Jabis’ Reply Endangers Muslim Women

Earlier this year, CAIR said Donald Trump’s continued use of a debunked myth about U.S. Gen. John Pershing executing Muslim prisoners in the Philippines using bullets dipped in pig’s blood was endangering ordinary American Muslims who were already facing a surge in hate.

SEE: CAIR Tells Donald Trump: ‘Stop the Bigotry’

CAIR stated that Trump’s pig’s blood claim and other instances of his Islamophobic rhetoric, including his calling for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States, his false claim that “Islam hates us,†his refusal to rule out special IDs for American Muslims, and his willingness to consider closing down American mosques place millions of innocent, law-abiding citizens in the American Muslim community at risk.

CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide since Trump’s bigoted call for a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States.

The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is asking Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at:

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.


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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,; CAIR Communications Coordinator Nabeelah Naeem, 202-341-4171,

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