Local Muslim community reacts to President Trump's immigration ban

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Leaders in the local Muslim community are speaking out as the country is reacting to President Donald Trump's executive order, signed on Friday, that bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for the 90 days.

The move also suspends admission of refugees for 120 days.

Leaders of the Islamic Society of Wichita Falls are shocked about the things that have unfolded in the last 48 hours.

Dr. Ahmed Mattar, Chairmen of the Board of the Islamic Society of Wichita Falls, used the words saddened and shocked during a phone call Sunday afternoon.

Dr. Mattar came to this country 26 years ago and is worried, yet optimistic about the future.

"There is nothing free or brave about this decision," Dr. Mattar said.

The executive order bars citizens and refugees from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia.

"It is discrimination when you pick on a certain group of people because of their religion or because of their country of origin," Dr. Mattar said.

Those who pray at the Wichita Falls Islamic Center said attaching a religion to a terrorist group is wrong.

"You can't group everybody into one box," Shadeed Sabir of the Wichita Falls Islamic Center said.

"Those people that commit these things, in my understanding of Islam, are not Muslims. People that kill innocent people are not Muslim. They may call themselves that, the same way Timothy McVeigh called himself a Christian," Dr. Mattar said.

Protests across the country are giving hope to the local Muslim community who said turning away those fleeing violence is the wrong move.

"I think it's going to affect us in the long run if we exclude these people that want to come and help the world," Sabir said.

Dr. Mattar remains optimistic following a federal judge's blocking the deportation of people stranded in U.S. airports under the executive action Saturday night.

He said he is almost certain the higher courts will find the ban unconstitutional.

Samantha Forester, Newschannel 6

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