After Nidal Alsayyed, an imam at a mosque in Beaufort, Texas, came out in favor of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s plan to ban all Muslims from entering the country, Alsayyed said he left his post at the mosque following a demand for his resignation.
In an exclusive interview with KBMT-TV on Monday, the imam said he sees Trump’s plan as “wise.”
“I certainly see it to be wise [to] stop temporarily accepting any new Muslim immigrants (refugees and non-refugees) into the United States,” Alsayyed said. “[Islam] is based on the fact that we can hardly distinguish who is Muslim and who is not. Islam is not about an ID card or last name or shouting ‘Allahu Akbar.'”
That sentiment spread like wildfire, and on Wednesday evening, Alsaayyed was even interviewed by Fox News’ Sean Hannity during the “Hannity” show.
But the imam, who was the religious director at the Islamic Center of Triplex, says he received a late-night phone call from a member of the mosque’s board, demanding his resignation — he obliged.
Though he believes the situation is “definitely unfair,” Alsayyed said it was the wise decision to make, given that imams in the United States are “treated unfairly” due to shifting political winds, according to Alsayyed.
“We in this country as imams are getting unfair treatment when they are being forced to manufacture or go with some political campaigning and not considering the safety and peace of the people,” he said.
Alsayyed said he is a “moderate” Islamic scholar who believes in practicing the “peaceful branch” of Islam. He has been a teacher in his faith since 1989.
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