In response to reports that the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is recruiting followers in Alabama to “fight the spread of Islam” in the United States, the Alabama chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Alabama) called on public officials to reject growing anti-Islam sentiments, according to a news release. Fliers for attracting recruits have reportedly been distributed in Cullman and Decatur, both in Alabama. Similar fliers had reportedly been distributed in that same area in September, but without any reference to Islam.
“Our state’s leaders must speak out against the rising anti-Muslim bigotry nationwide that is apparently inspiring a new recruiting effort by racists,” said CAIR-Alabama Executive Director Khaula Hadeed, according to a news release. “The KKK must be repudiated, whether it targets African-Americans, Muslims or any other minority group with hatred and intimidation.”
Anti-Muslim incidents have occurred nationwide in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump also stirred controversy earlier this week when he called upon the United States to bar Muslims from entering the country, a statement that ignited a public backlash.
“Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine," Trump said in a statement. "Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad and have no sense of reason or respect for human life."
The billionaire businessman’s statement was condemned by people on both sides of the political spectrum and the White House declared it as contrary to American values.
“This is exactly what ISIS wants, to turn Americans against one another,” a representative of CAIR previously told International Business Times. “We stand today united as Americans against stigmatization, against Islamophobia, against ISIS.”