Virginia Republicans Visit Mosque to Address Concerns | NBC4 Washington

Julie Carey, David Culver and the News4 team covering where you live

Virginia Republicans Visit Mosque to Address Concerns

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Many Muslims in the D.C. area are nervous about how President-elect Donald Trump will affect the community. News4's Chris Gordon reports from Sterling, Virginia. (Published Friday, Nov. 11, 2016)

    As Muslims worry about how the election of Donald Trump will affect them, Republican leaders visited a mosque on Friday in Sterling, Virginia.

    The All Dulles Area Muslim Society, aka The Adams Center, invited Virginia state Republicans to join their afternoon prayer services.

    "We wanted to really address the anxiety that we know the Muslim community in our area has," newly reelected Rep. Barbara Comstock said.

    John Whitbeck, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, said he wanted to share a message of freedom.

    "One of the things they need to hear from me is that the Virginia Republican party values religious liberty and we stand with them, and they're part of this community too," he said.

    Many attendees of the mosque, which is one of the largest in the D.C. region, said they worry that Trump will ban Muslims from entering the country.

    During the campaign, Trump said that if elected he would enact a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on."

    After facing backlash, he repackaged the proposal to describe a suspension of immigration "from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur."

    Comstock and Whitbeck said they believed that Trump had changed his position on a Muslim ban.

    "I think he himself has changed that," Comstock said. "What I am saying and what I have said is that that is not constitutional and it's really un-American."

    Whitbeck also rejected any ban on Muslims entering the country.

    "The Virginia Republican Party is the party of religious liberty. We don't support banning Muslims in the United States of America," he said.

    Some attendees of the mosque said they still were nervous that Trump would exclude Muslims.

    "I'm still anxious. I'm eager to see what Mr. Trump is going to do next," Northern Virginia resident Abhi Kunjumol said.

    Northern Virginia resident Jafar Imam said he was particularly concerned about whether Trump would keep out Syrians, "those who are suffering enormously."

    "He will not allow a single Syrian refugee coming to United States," Imam said.

    Rizwan Jaka, the board chairman of The Adams Center, called for unity.

    "We call for peace among all peoples, that we come together in healing as a nation. We send our greetings of peace to President-elect Donald Trump," he said.