I am writing in response to Howard Cutler’s Dec. 20 letter, “Trump correct on restricting Muslims.”

Cutler claims that an American president would be within his or her rights to restrict Muslims entering the United States based on a 1952 act that states “whenever the president finds that the entry of any aliens or class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the U.S., the president may … suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens or immigrants … .”

The problem with this argument, however, is that Muslims are not “a class of aliens or immigrants” that is “detrimental to the interests of the U.S.”

The acts of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) represent the acts of a small (0.01 percent) percentage of the 1.6 billion total Muslims worldwide – Muslims who are as horrified by Daesh’s behavior as Christians are by someone using Christianity to justify white supremacy and/or terrorism, as the Ku Klux Klan, Eric Rudolph (the Olympic Park bomber) and the Army of God (who target abortion providers) have done.

Yes, Daesh may say it is acting according to the Quran, and, with the same ease that the Ku Klux Klan cherry-picked passages from the Bible to support the barbaric act of hanging black men from trees, Daesh can find passages to support its beliefs. And that is what it is doing: (mis)interpreting a holy text to support a savage ideology.

Therefore, this is not the problem of “a class of aliens or immigrants” needing to have its entry suspended, but rather a problem of Americans who do not understand Islam, or personally know any Muslims, and who are therefore supporting acting out of fear and ignorance.

Interestingly, fear and ignorance are the same tenets guiding Daesh.

Elizabeth M. Greason

Portland