RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Earlier this month, the Islamic Center of Virginia helped in the resettlement of six Syrian refugee families. They were expecting more next month, until the President signed an executive order putting a temporary ban on refugees from seven countries.
“And these are people who’ve been on the waiting list, going through the whole process of being vetted for the last 3 years and so at the end of a long, long process, a wrench has been thrown into it for them,” said Imam Ammar Ammonette, leader of the center.
Ammonette says the order is troubling to the local Muslim community.
“We’re very much concerned about it, particularly singling out people because of their religious affiliation,” Amonette said. “It’s frightening.”
This weekend the president released a statement saying in part, “This is not about religion. This is about terror and keeping our country safe. There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order.”
“All that sends a message that those elected officials like the president distrust a whole group of people based on faith and that is wrong, it’s un-American,” Attorney General Mark Herring said.
Herring was among those protesting the order at Dulles International Airport this weekend. He says it not only endangers Muslims, but all Americans.
“It also undermines our leadership abroad and puts Americans at risk,” Herring said.