Shreveport Muslim leaders urge peace, not paranoia in wake of CA shootings

Published: Dec. 8, 2015 at 11:35 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 23, 2015 at 1:40 AM CST
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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - In the wake of last Wednesday's shootings in San Bernardino, California at the hands of two radicalized Muslims, emotion has spread across the country, including from the GOP presidential frontrunner.

"A total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on," said Donald Trump, (R).

Kurshid Khan, Vice President and Chaplain of the Islamic Association of Shreveport and Bossier City, calls Trump's idea ignorant and made for political gains.

"A good American would never talk like this," he said. "This is a melting pot, this nation."

In an address last weekend, President Obama said coalition forces will stay the course in the war against terrorist groups like ISIS.

While Khan says he agrees with this plan, he also wants the maximum punishment for those who helped shooters, Syed FarooK and Tashfeen Malik, organize the killing spree that left 14 dead and wounded nearly two dozen more.

"Catch the people and demolish their organization," he said.

Khan argues the shooters weren't true Muslims at all.

"If a Muslim kills a Christian, a Jew or any other, they are not going to heaven. They are all going to hell," he explained.

Khan, who gained U.S. citizenship in 1975 and is retired from the Air Force, said he welcomes anyone who feels afraid or paranoid to come to the Islamic Association.

"Pin me to the wall," he said. "Any question you have, you ask. Don't try to hide anything because if you hide something, your bad feelings about Muslims, you will carry that with you. We always talk about one God and we always talk about humanity, love for one another."

In these times, Khan urges the community to show strength, not fear.

"People should not be afraid. We are American!" he said. "We are a great nation, very powerful country on Earth. We should not be paranoid."

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