Indiana State Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel) Tuesday denounced the Republican party's presidential frontrunner candidate Donald Trump's proposal for Muslims to be banned from entering the United States. Delph, known as one of the most conservative politicians in his state, was surrounded by a group of Muslims who live in central Indiana as he conducted a news conference at the Indiana Statehouse.
"The reason we are here today is to stand up and do the right thing," Delph said, according to WISH-TV. "I thought it was important for a Christian, conservative, Republican to stand up with my friends."
American Muslims present at the Tuesday conference included gynecologist Dr. Sayeda Khairi, endocrinologist Dr. Rashid Khairi, neurosurgeon Dr. Saad Khairi and retired plastic surgeon Dr. Haroon Qazi.
"I'm an American citizen. And I am proud of it. If there's anything we can do to help out in crushing those people (referring to Islamic extremists), we'd be the first ones to do it" Saad Khairi said, according to a Fox News broadcast.
"I love this country," said Haroon Qazi, another American Muslim who shared that he served in the U.S. military during the Vietnam War.
Delph told Fox 59 one Muslim family he invited to the event declined, based on recent backlash they're received in Indiana.
"The fact 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.
American Muslims present at the conference said they worry about their children currently working for American companies overseas.
"I would be appalled if my daughter, who is posted in London, if she cannot come to this country," said Rashid Khairi.
Delph, representing District 29 since 2005, announced he wanted to start a dialogue about treating American Muslims the same as other U.S. citizens, while the American Muslims with him Tuesday stated they hoped to be looked at as neighbors instead of enemies.