Mosque Leader and Attorney React to Refugee and Immigration Ban
Prayers at the Masjid As-Salam come without politics, but the president and founder of the Central Avenue mosque does not mince words outside the prayer hall.
"The reaction is somewhat expected because of the arrogance of Donald Trump," said Dr. Shamshad Ahmad.
Dr. Ahmad came to Albany after getting his doctorate in physics in Australia. The SUNY Albany professor was born in India and believes in the American way of life.
Now, he says, that way is threatened.
"The Muslim community is very much uncertain and confused," he said.
Many members of his congregation are refugees, some from the seven countries on President Donald Trump's refugee and immigration ban list.
"These orders are clearly unconstitutional on several grounds," said Albany attorney Kathy Manley.
Manley has fought for a member of the Central Avenue mosque before. She was an attorney for Yassin Aref, an Iraqi refugee convicted in a terrorism case who she believes was wrongly accused.
Manley says the vetting process does not need to be more extensive.
"I already thought it was too much," she said. "To say that they haven't been is ridiculous."
Dr.Ahmad says he's more fearful as an American than he is as a Muslim. He knows his faith will always remain, but he's worried about his freedom.
"With the present occupation of the administration in the White House, we are losing hope, really," he said.