TOLEDO, Ohio (13abc Action News) - Presidential candidate Donald Trump's call to ban Muslims from coming into the United States, has shocked and saddened the local Muslim community.
"This is the most un-American statement I've ever heard," Dr. Maseeh Rehman, the President of the United Muslim Association of Toledo said. "To say that we should ban all Muslims...Do you know how many Muslims are proud being American? How much we have contributed and contribute and will contribute to this country?"
Dr. Rehman adds that pushing a message like Trump's, will continue to divide the country and further the stereotype that all Muslims are terrorists.
"They by no means represent Islam and I will not, as a Muslim, let them [ISIS] hijack my religion," Rehman said.
"This man [Donald Trump], he's putting everybody in one basket, he cannot do that," Imam Talal Eid, Imam and Religious Director at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo said.
Tuesday, Imam Eid led prayer at the Islamic Center, while trying to wrap his mind around statements he calls puzzling.
"He's not helping the situation," Imam Eid said. He's fueling the situation and he's helping ISIS also by his derogatory comments about Muslims."
Trump, however, defends his actions. He says a complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S. is, in his words, the right thing to do while the country gets its act together.
In the meantime, the local Islamic community is standing strong and speaking out against terrorism.
"We have been saying that for years, these are against the basic teachings of Islam," Imam Eid said.
"We have always condemned terrorism. We have always condemned the killing of innocent people. When I condemn terrorism, I condemn terrorism as a human being," Rehman said.