FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Dr. Mouhammed Sheikha moved to Chicago from Syria in 1991, and in 1995 he moved to Fort Smith with his wife for a job. He became a U.S. citizen five years later and had two children soon after that.
“I got to love this area,” Dr. Sheikha said. “The people are really nice. People are really friendly, and we have had no incident whatsoever with the people in this area.”
Dr. Sheikha said he's living the American Dream, but in the wake of the recent terror attacks in Paris and California, the stereotypes about Muslims have been persistent.
“Really in Islam, you cannot kill anybody,” he said. “You cannot. It`s forbidden in all religions, especially innocent people.”
He also gave his take on Donald Trump who recently said all Muslims should be banned from coming to the U.S.
“He's against Muslims. He's against black people. He's against Mexican. He's even against Jewish. What makes him different than ISIS?” Dr. Sheikha said. “He needs to go back to the Bible and read the Bible and read about Jesus.”
As far as Syrian refugees, Sheikha says most are women, children and the elderly, like his parents who were recently denied U.S. visas.
“Finally I got the opportunity to at least get them out of Syria to Lebanon, which is a border country,” he said.
He said Syrians are trying to escape daily bombings, stuck between ISIS and President Bashar al-Assad whose family has been in power for more than 50 years.
“You cannot blame religion for terrorism,” Dr. Sheikha said.
Dr. Sheikha said he originally planned to stay in Fort Smith for just a couple years before moving back to Chicago, but he fell in love with the area and has been practicing internal medicine here ever since.