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Muslim Americans living in Indiana unite to denounce terrorism

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INDIANAPOLIS (Dec. 15, 2015) – Surrounded by a group of central Indiana Muslims, State Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel) asked them to send a message Tuesday.

“I’m an American citizen,” Saad Khairi said. “And I am proud of it.”

Delph, a strong Republican himself, in part denounced his party’s presidential front-runner Donald Trump in proposing a ban on Muslims entering the United States in wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris and California.

The stories Tuesday focused on life in Indiana.

“I love this country,” Haroon Qazi said. “I served this country during the Vietnam War.”

Muslim Americans nationwide are now in the midst of controversy centered around terror and faith.

“The fact that there are people who claim to be Muslims out there, who are terrorizing and advancing a political agenda using the name of my religion, disheartens me to no end,” Khairi said.

Khairi, a neurosurgeon who has worked with the Indianapolis Colts, stood alongside his mother and father.

“If there’s anything we can do to help out in crushing those people, we’d be the first ones to do it,” Sayeda Khairi said, referring to Islamic extremists.

Polls show Americans continue to have a negative view of Islam.

Delph said one Muslim family he invited to the event declined, based on recent backlash they’re received in Indiana.

“The gentleman is a very prominent business person and he has felt a backlash both personally and with his company,” Delph said.

As politics continue to fuel perception, both families present Tuesday said they worry about their children currently working for American companies overseas.

“I would be appalled if my daughter who is posted in London,” Rashid Khairi said. “If she cannot come to this country.”