The head of a Cedar Rapids mosque is inviting Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to meet with members of the Muslim community. Imam Taha Tawil of the Mother Mosque says his members would like to hear about Trump’s plans if he’s elected, and have a chance to talk to him about Muslims’ role in the U-S over the last 100-plus years.
Tawil said on IPR’s River to River program Friday that Trump’s call for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S., and other comments on the campaign trail, have been damaging to Muslims throughout the country, though there has been no backlash directed at his mosque.
“The internet is full of incidents, people throwing [the] heads of pigs around, vandalizing Islamic centers, burning mosques,” he said. “We have, we heard, we see…but thank God, not in Iowa.”
But Tawil says members of his community are nervous, especially women and children.
“We are feeling like the black community in the 30s and 40s,” he said. “We are like other minorities, the Japanese [in the U.S. during World War Two]. We are right now almost under siege.”
Tawil says Muslims have been part of the fabric of American society for more than 100 years, and he would like Trump to understand that. He hasn’t received a response from the Trump campaign yet, and Tawil plans to follow up with a formal invitation sent by registered letter.