By Rich Zeoli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In an interview with Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, Dr Zuhdi Jasser, the Founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, criticized Democratic leadership for trying to exploit opposition to Donald Trump’s executive order halting immigration from seven Middle East countries to curry favor with the Muslim community.

“We are not an identity movement. Islam is a diverse religion with very diverse opinions from left to right on interpretations of the role of Quran and the role of our interpretations of faith and government. If it’s a diverse religion, you can’t use us as an identity politic to attack the right as being anti-Islam or anti-Muslim.”

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He said that Islam is as disparate as any other religion and resented the idea that Democrats would view them through one specific lens.

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“This is where their whole mantra about it being a Muslim ban is all about exploiting us Muslims as an identity group that want to claim to protect when, in fact, I would love to ask [House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi], does she think Catholic, or whatever faith she may profess, is monolithic and, therefore, we should look at all Catholics as one, either oppressed or not oppressed? That is not an American way to view religious diversity.”

Jasser stated that in addition to the countries already covered by the travel restrictions, key partners of the US in the region also pose the risk of exporting terrorists.

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“The main cauldrons of terrorism or radicalism are Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Qatar, our allies, who are and may be the firefighters with us against Al Qaeda and ISIS, but they’re also the arsonists through ideological distribution of the textual interpretations of Islam that come from their monarchs and theocrats.”