President Obama slammed suggestions by some politicians that there should be “religious tests” for Syrian refugees applying to take refuge in the United States.

Speaking during a press conference on the sidelines of the G20 meetings in Turkey, President Obama called the suggestion to apply religious testing to screen out Muslims coming to the US “shameful.”

“That’s not American, that’s not who we are,” Obama said to the audience. “It is very important that…we do not close our hearts to these victims of such violence and somehow start equating the issue of refugees with the issue of terrorism,” the president said.

The president’s remarks came after GOP hopefuls Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush suggested that there should be religious testing screening against Muslims coming to the U.S. as a result of the Syrian refugee crisis. The remarks came as part of increased rhetoric on the acceptance of Syrian refugees following the horrifying terror attacks on Paris on Friday.

“The people who are fleeing Syria are the most harmed by terrorism,” Obama said, adding that “stereotypes are counterproductive,” adding that the refugees are “parents, they are children, they are orphans.”

Yasmeen Alamiri is a political reporter for Rare. Follow her on Twitter @Yalamiri
View More Articles