Nenshi says Trump's promise to bar Muslims 'not funny'
Mayor fears Republican front-runner's words will cause harm
Calgary's mayor says it's easy to dismiss Donald Trump's latest comments about Muslims as a joke, but it's not funny.
"Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on. We have no choice," said the New York billionaire and Republican Party front-runner at a campaign event on Monday.
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Trump made the remark in the wake of the recent mass shooting in San Bernardino, California by a couple who law enforcement officials say were radicalized.
Naheed Nenshi, who would not be allowed into the U.S. under the plan, said Trump's comments aren't constructive. "I make fun of it because how else do you deal with ridiculous things than to treat them lightly?"
However the mayor adds that such rhetoric causes pain.
"We've been hearing a lot of divisive language in a lot of corners of this country and in other places in the last few months, and you know, it's easy to dismiss stuff like this as a joke. It's not funny anymore. This has real impact on people," said Nenshi, who was critical of the Conservative campaign in the recent federal election.
He cited a recent case of vandalism where anti-Muslim and anti-Syrian threats were spray-painted at the Tuscany C-Train station and on near-by vehicles.
Nenshi said as a community, "We need to stand up as good and decent people for what is good and decent."
As an example, he mentioned the people who went to the Tuscany station the following day holding up large red hearts and signs with quotes on the power of love and peace.
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