A controversial North Carolina billboard has drawn criticism for referring to the 9/11 terror attack in promoting President Trump’s travel ban.
The billboard on I-40 in Catawba County says “why support President Trump’s immigration ban? 19 Muslim immigrants killed 2977 Americans. September 11, 2001.”
Some find the billboard hateful, WSOC-TV reported on Friday.
“I believe in the Christian way and that’s to embrace everybody,” a man named Oliver Reitzell told the station. “Kind of the hate message behind it. I’m not for that.”
An associate pastor Paul Cummings said the billboard contradicts teachings from the Bible.
“My opinion is that I think these people need the saving gospel of Jesus more than I need to be protected,” Cummings told the station. “I’m perfectly willing for people who are hostile to us, to be in our country, because that’s what loving your enemy is all about.”
A group called the North Carolina Pastors Network paid for the billboard and has refused to remove it.
“This has nothing whatsoever to do with hatred or hostility toward anyone that comes from a background,” Dave Kistler, the group’s president, told WCNC-TV. “I have dear friends that are Muslim.”
The station points out that the 19 9/11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Lebanon. Those countries are not part of the president’s travel ban.
The U.S. appeals court in Virginia ruled Thursday that the Trump revised ban violated constitutional rights.