Kudos to Senator Flake
A Mormon Republican Senator visits an Arizona mosque.
Afternoon prayers at the Islamic Center of the North East Valley looked a little different Friday as U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-AZ, his wife and two of their children were in attendance.
“We have much in common with our brothers and sisters in the Muslim faith; we have much to learn from them,” Flake said.
The visit was a result of growing anti-Muslim sentiment among Americans and rhetoric coming out of Washington. he said.
After the prayer sermon, Flake addressed the congregation.
“Just a message of solidarity and appreciation for the contributions of the Muslim-American community to this community this state and to the nation,” he said.
I am very impressed by this gesture which would have been welcome at any time, but is especially noteworthy given the pronouncements of Donald Trump as well as the general anti-Muslim sentiment that has been brewing in the populace of late.
Both Flake and Ali addressed Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s call to ban all Muslims from entering the country.
“I think all of us were surprised at the statement that was made, and the position and policy that he has adopted; I don’t think that it reflects well, certainly not on the Republican Party, and it doesn’t reflect well on us as a country if this were to go,” Flake said. ”It’s just the antithesis of everything that we stand for here in America.”
“As we see these poll numbers and the statements of Donald Trump, the best response to ignorance is education,” Ali said.
Those in attendance Friday were grateful for the senator’s support and his show of faith, especially given the hostility they’ve faced solely for practicing their religion.
“Hopefully it will open eyes to fellow Americans that we’re all in this together; we’re all in it to fight extremism and combat terrorist activities,” Rheem Khalife Kabbani said.
If I may: amen.