WASHINGTON, Jan 11 (KUNA) – US Secretary of State-designee Rex Tillerson affirmed to lawmakers Wednesday that he does not support “a blanket type of rejection” of Muslims entering the country, but that he needs “a lot more information” on how a potential Muslim registry “would be constructed.”
The remarks do not align with President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign pledge to ban Muslims, nor are they the view of Secretary of Homeland Security-designee John Kelly, who said Tuesday he does not “agree with registering people based on ethnic backgrounds.”
Trump’s cabinet picks are being grilled by lawmakers this week in confirmation hearings ahead of the Jan 20 inauguration ceremony.
Trump’s proposed Muslim registry has been likened to the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) which was officially disbanded by President Barack Obama last month.
While it had not been in use for a few years, it was set up by the George W. Bush administration in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, and ensured the registration of every non-citizen visa-holder entering the US. This included students, workers, and tourists who had Muslim or Arab names and appearances.
Tillerson urged support for Muslims who “reject radical Islam,” adding that theirs are the most important “voices” in fighting terrorism.
He said through his extensive travels across the Middle East and South Asia, he “gained an appreciation and recognition of this great faith.” (end)
Source : Latest News | Kuna