Muslim Community Center Works To Keep Peace Among Members

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Muslim Community Center of South Dakota board member Mohammad Qamar says Sioux Falls has a sizeable Muslim community.

With a controversial immigration ban in effect, the focus is making sure local families go about their normal, everyday lives.

“The last thing that we want to cause is chaos and more alarm,” says Qamar.

Qamar says he understands many people have concerns about President Trump’s travel ban, since it restricts travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries.

“Will this ban be extended to other countries, and how will we be affected later on,” asks Qamar.

He says the community center is not against security screenings.

“We will be the first to support any measures that properly vet people coming into the country; that keep the radicals and extremists out of the country.”

But they believe this ban isn’t protecting the country the right way, since he says it’s keeping ordinary people who abide by the law out of the U.S.

“These are grandparents, these are doctors, engineers, students.”

As a Pakistani immigrant himself, Qamar says the biggest fear he and other Muslims have is not being able to see their families.

It’s a worry their kids have as well.

“When we talk to children we want them to know that they are just as American as anyone else,” says Qamar. “When we talk to our kids we tell them this is their home, there is no other home for them and they will not be torn apart from their families.”

During these trying times, Qamar says it’s important to set positive examples.

“If you show what a good Muslim can be like, then in due course you can change other people’s hearts and minds.”

Over the past couple of days Qamar says the Sioux Falls community has been very supportive.

He says they’ve received many flowers and kind messages, which he is very thankful for.

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