Statement Governor Bentley Refusal to Admit Syrian Refugees


CAIR-AL Dismayed Over Gov. Bentley's Refusal to Accept Syrian Refugees

(Birmingham, AL., 11/16/15)— The Council on American-Islamic Relations|Alabama (CAIR-AL) today, in response to Governor Bentley’s statement, expressed dismay and concern over his declaration that he will not allow Syrian refugees in Alabama.

CAIR-AL recognizes that concern and condemnation are natural after the horrific atrocities committed by ‘Daesh’ on Friday, just as they would have been after what happened in Ankara a month ago. Denying Syrian refugees asylum that they so desperately need, however, is an ill-considered and reactionary response to a very serious issue.

We cannot forget, and the Governor should recognize, that the greatest and foremost victims of "Daesh" or "ISIS' are the Syrian refugees fleeing the horror themselves. The refugees need the world, including us Alabamians, to help them in any way possible.

Governor Bentley must know that there are citizens of his state with family members stranded in Syria and elsewhere in the world trying to escape the persecution. Additionally, by outright rejection, he demonizes an entire population already suffering unimaginable hardship. We call on the Governor Bentley to reach out to Syrian, Arab and Muslim communities within Alabama to exchange views and reexamine his position.

Earlier today CAIR stated, “Defeating ISIS involves projecting American ideals to the world. This un-American rejection of refugees, who will face significant security checks prior to entry, sends entirely the wrong message. Governors who reject those fleeing war and persecution abandon our ideals and instead project our fears to the world.”

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: CAIR-AL Executive Director Khaula Hadeed, 334-224-2196,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,; CAIR Communications; CAIR Communications Coordinator Nabeelah Naeem, 202-341-4171,

Khaula Hadeed
Executive Director