TN Valley stakeholders react to SCOTUS decision

TN Valley stakeholders react to SCOTUS decision

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Tennessee Valley leaders are split on their reaction to Tuesday's Supreme Court decision.

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled President Donald Trump was within his constitutional authority to impose a travel ban to seven countries.

Five of the countries are predominantly Muslim, (Syria, Iran, Somalia, Yemen and Iran). North Korea and Venezuela complete the group.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority and said it was clear the president was within his authority to impose the ban, citing his power over immigration and responsibility to keep the country safe.

During the campaign, Trump proposed an all-encompassing "Muslim ban" but faced backlash from both parties.

WAFF 48 News met with Islamic leaders in Huntsville about their reaction to the news.

Rajab Abdalmoneim is the Imam, or religious leader, of the Huntsville Islamic Center on Sparkman Drive. He said he was disappointed by the news.

"We're teaching our kids, our children, that they have to be part of this country and this is their country. They are helping to build up the economy, education they need, but this kind of decision, it will, break, it will demoralize, it will build a sense of animosity and hatred in their mind and in their life," he said.

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, said in a statement he applauded the courts decision. He said in part, "I applaud the Supreme Court for finding that President Trump has authority to take such actions as are necessary to protect American lives from terrorism risks. America is safer as a result. The President's legal authority on immigration and national security in this instance is clear."

He later questioned Democratic critiques of the travel ban.

"First, if the travel ban targets Muslims, then why did it include Venezuela and North Korea, two countries that have little to no Muslim populations? Second, if the travel ban targets Muslims, then why were so many majority Muslim countries (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the like) not a part of the ban?"

Abdalmoneim and his family are from Egypt, but he said he's spoken with members of his community who will be separated from family as a consequence of the ruling.

"The people talked about the challenges that may face the Muslim community in the future and in the coming days. They started build up their kids and their children to mentally be able to face this kind of challenges," he said.

Abdalmoneim said he has faith in the American people and the Islamic Center plans to work with inter-faith groups to protest the ban.

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