Advocacy Group: 'American Muslims Are Here to Stay' | NBC Southern California
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Advocacy Group: 'American Muslims Are Here to Stay'

The Council on American-Islamic Relations pledged to work with the Trump administration

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    AP, File
    A file photo of Nihad Awad, the National Executive Director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations.

    The day after Donald Trump's victory, the head of the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization asked the president-elect to respect the rights of all Americans.

    At the same time, the Council on American-Islamic Relations will work with Trump and his administration as a way to strengthen the nation, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad pledged in a statement.

    And Awad tried to calm those who may be concerned about the future for Muslims in America. At one point, Trump campaigned on a promise to ban Muslims who don't live in the U.S. from entering as a way to keep out terrorists, and in November 2015, Trump proposed Muslims be required to register in a national database.

    "To those in the American Muslim community who are fearful of the future, know that America is your home and you have the same rights and responsibilities as all other Americans,” Awad said.

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    Last fall, hundreds of demonstrators gathered in San Diego to condemn discrimination against refugees and Islamophobic attitudes.

    Trump has said he would suspend arrivals from Syria, portraying them as a potential security threat. Of the approximately 12,000 Syrian refugees admitted into the U.S. in 2016, the vast majority identify as Muslims.

    San Diego, the nation's eighth-largest city, has received 626 Syrian refugees since Oct. 1, more than any other in the United States.

    On Wednesday, CAIR called on people of all faith, racial and political backgrounds to commit to working with each other.

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    "Regardless of who won or lost yesterday's election, American Muslims are here to stay. We are not going anywhere, and will not be intimidated or marginalized,” Awad said in the written statement.