Donald Trump, the front-runner in the Republican presidential race, is not known for his diplomatic personality. But now, Taha Tawil, a Muslim leader at one of America’s oldest mosques, has called on the business tycoon to sit down with his community members and share some of his ideas, KCRG, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, reported Wednesday.
"Mr. Donald Trump, come and see your neighbors, come and see your fellow citizens,” said Tawil, the imam and director of the Mother Mosque of America in Cedar Rapids. "Tell us what you want from us. What's the problem? We don't know.”
The Mother Mosque of America in Cedar Rapids is reaching out to Donald Trump about his views on Muslims. STORY: https://t.co/SxN6hqSgBp
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The mosque dates back to the 1930s and remains active today, offering tours and talks for those wanting to learn more about Islam and Muslims. An older mosque affiliated with Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA was completed in Chicago in 1922. Tawil said he’s a registered Republican and said the meeting could help Trump gain support with Iowa voters.
"We need to know what's going on with him," Tawil said. “He keeps intimidating and talking sometimes hateful speeches against his own fellow citizens and that is not the American way. The American way is to come to the house and speak to us.”
It’s up to the presidential candidate whether he wants an open, public event or a private meeting with the mosque’s members, Tawil said.
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Trump has taken several controversial stances toward Muslims following terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California. He has said authorities should heighten their surveillance of some mosques, and that Muslims should be banned from entering the country for a temporary period, until officials understand the extent of the threat posed by the Islamic State group, aka ISIS. He reiterated his support for that ban in ads that began airing in Iowa Tuesday, prompting Tawil to extend his invitation to the candidate.
Trump has enjoyed an uncontested lead in national the polls for months. Muslims and rights organizations have blamed Republican discourse over Muslims for a reported surge in hate crimes in the last several months.