Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind hopes a recent trip to several Sunni nations helped to ease fears about anti-Muslim sentiments being voiced in the United States.
Kind (D-WI) was part of a group that traveled to the region this month, which included Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), and made stops in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, along with Israel and Germany. The Democrat from Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District said a main goal of the trip was to deliver a message that “even with the heated campaign rhetoric that they may be hearing in the presidential race…that’s not America. The anti-Muslim sentiment that’s being expressed is not who we are.”
That sentiment has been prompted in comments made by Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who has called for banning Muslims from entering the country because of concerns about radical terrorist groups such as ISIS. In a call with reporters Wednesday, Kind said it’s “incredibly dangerous” to use such language, considering the U.S. needs to rely heavily on Muslim-led nations in the fight against terrorism.
Kind warned that continuing alienate Sunni nations will make it much harder to get their trust and cooperation in counter-terrorism efforts.