Nidal Alsayyed, an imam at the Islamic Center of Triplex in Beaumont, Texas, recently came out in favor of Donald Trump’s plan to ban all Muslims from entering the country.
In an exclusive interview with KBMT-TV on Monday, the imam said, “I certainly see it to be wise (to) stop temporarily accepting any new Muslim immigrants (refugees and non-refugees) into the United States.”
He justifies his statement by explaining how “[Islam] is based on the fact that we can hardly distinguish who is Muslim and who is not. Islam is not about an ID card or last name or shouting ‘Allahu Akbar.’”
His sentiment quickly spread. Alsayyed was even interviewed by Fox News’ Sean Hannity during the “Hannity” show on Wednesday evening.
However, Alsayyed said he received a late-night phone call from a member of the mosque’s board, demanding his resignation — he obliged, TheBlaze reports.
Alsayyed previously explained how he does not believe there is anything unconstitutional about Trump’s proposal saying, “when it comes to peace and safety,” a ban would be acceptable.
“We American Muslims need to be sincere to our religion and to the country we are living in. Peace comes before religion. We need to be truthful and transparent when we express a viewpoint or feedback. It does not matter whether Trump said it or anyone else,” said Alsayyed.
The former religious director also said, “American Muslims need to say we are with this country,” and raise the American flag with patriotism.
Alsayyed added that he would advise Trump “not to agitate and differentiate Muslim versus non-Muslim refugees. Terror acts are usually plotted and managed by individuals who are residing, living, and knowing their way around, not refugees that are mostly children.”
Alsayyed said he is a “moderate” Islamic scholar who believes in practicing the “peaceful branch” of Islam. He has been a teacher in his faith since 1989.