Muslim doctor: Trump's travel ban idea is a 'departure from American values'

Dr. Qanta Ahmed on Trump and Muslims in America
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Story highlights

  • Dr. Qanta Ahmed says Donald Trump's plan is contributing the the dehumanization of Muslims
  • "It's about making us all into one group; one other that is to be feared and excluded. That's highly dangerous," she says

New York (CNN)An accomplished doctor and author is joining others who are condemning Donald Trump's call for a travel ban on U.S.-bound Muslims.

Dr. Qanta Ahmed is a foreign-born pulmonologist, internist and sleep specialist who is an American success story. She has used her U.S. education to help people around the world as a medical expert. And she is Muslim.
On CNN's "New Day" on Wednesday, she called the Republican presidential front-runner's proposal "a complete departure from American values," saying it contributes to the dehumanizing of Muslims.
    Trump has defended the plan since presenting it Monday, even though some high-ranking Republicans have condemned it.
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    Ahmed says the issue is not really about immigration.
    "It's about making us all into one group; one other that is to be feared and excluded. That's highly dangerous," she said.
    Ahmed, who grew up in London and practiced medicine in Saudi Arabia, was medically trained through a special immigration visa program for doctors in the 1990s. She now lives and works in New York, and she will become an American citizen Friday, something that she feels "extraordinary privileged" to do.
    Identifying with the fear of domestic radicalization and increasing terrorist attacks, Ahmed says she believes a ban on Muslims entering the United States would only increase risks.
    "But to exclude us uniformly ... is highly dangerous. It doesn't just promote xenophobia. ... It also is the fuel and food on which all Islamism breathes and becomes stronger. And that is that Muslims are under siege in the secular West."