A visiting professor told a group of University of Utah students Wednesday, "America has a bigotry problem."

Omid Safi, director of the Islamic Studies Center at Duke University, criticized American foreign policy and leaders from both major political parties for creating an environment in which ISIS flourished. He pointed to statements by Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz made while campaigning for the Republican nomination that help fuel "Islamophobia." Trump has called for a ban on Muslim immigrants. Cruz has suggested putting stronger police patrols in areas with large Muslims populations. While most of the media focus has been on Trump, both plans are equally dangerous for American Muslims, he said.

"Every time they make one of these statements, their donations go up," Safi, editor of Progressive Muslims on Justice, Gender and Pluralism, said during a forum at the U's Hinckley Institute of Politics. "The scariest thing about these comments is the fact that people are giving them donations and applauding these statements."

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