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Arts & Culture

Muslim Americans React To Donald Trump's Controversial Statements

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The backlash was swift against Donald Trump for his call for a quote, "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." In a moment, we will hear reaction from members of the Republican Party. But first, what does it feel like to be the target of this rhetoric today? Layla Alaoui is a mother in Boston. She says she struggled to talk with her second-grade son about it.

LAYLA ALAOUI: He goes, well, in my school, my friend's talking that this guy wants to kill all Muslims. Really, that thing just shocked me. I mean, I had no answer. The only thing I can think that minute - I wish I was prepared for the question. I was not.

CORNISH: Lewiston is a town in Maine with many Somali refugees. Abdikadir Mohammed is a baker there.

ABDIKADIR MOHAMMED: To me, it's, like, a hate thing. He's saying, that because I hate Muslims, they should not be welcomed. I think it's wrong.

CORNISH: And Mahmud Muktar is another Somali immigrant in Lewiston.

MAHMUD MUKTAR: So we needed peace so we came here for peace. We didn't come here for fighting or terrorists or all that. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.