Some positive developments have resulted from presidential candidate Donald Trump’s advocacy of banning all Muslims from entering the U.S.

Trump’s position has received bipartisan opposition.

Opposition and critique of his statements from Democrats is expected, as Trump is a leading candidate of the opposing party.

Widespread opposition from GOP leaders is another matter.

Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator from South Carolina and presidential hopeful, said he was disgusted by Trump’s latest proposal, calling him “a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot” and emphasizing that Trump “doesn’t represent my party.”

“I think this whole notion that somehow we can just say no more Muslims, just ban a whole religion, goes against everything we stand for and believe in,” former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney commented.

Another GOP candidate for president, Ted Cruz, spoke with Joe Scarborough about Trump’s comments, reiterating that he disagrees with the idea of banning Muslims from entering the U.S.

Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), Speaker of the House, said Trump’s comments were “not conservatism … not what this party stands for and more importantly it’s not what this country stands for.”

“This is not what we’re about as a party, and this is not what we’re about as a country, and we cannot yield to this,” said Greg Walden, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee and a U.S. representative from Oregon.

Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and GOP presidential hopeful, commented that Trump was “unhinged” and that his policies were “not serious” in a tweet.

“I strongly disagree with that proposal,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

In another interview, he said, “We need to not just encourage Muslims around the world to try and lead a reform movement within Islam that rejects the Brotherhood, ISIS, al-Qaida viewpoint, but we also need to highlight it when they do so.”

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said Trump’s idea was “completely and totally inconsistent with American values.”

False narratives and caustic rhetoric is harmful. Those who wish to lead should appeal to our highest and noblest ideals not our basest and darkest fears, and I am grateful for GOP leaders who have voiced their opposition to Trump’s proposal.

We must speak out against rhetoric that plays on people’s fears to gain power, prestige and, ultimately, votes – no matter the party of the person making the offensive comments or the party with which we align ourselves.

People of goodwill should be able to find common ground in speaking out against harmful rhetoric and false, negative narratives perpetuated against Islam and Muslims. has sought to counter these narratives and to resource congregations to engage in positive ways with their Muslim neighbors through articles, video interviews and a documentary film, “Different Books, Common Word: Baptists and Muslims.”

These resources, such as David Coffey sharing five principles of interfaith engagement, offer proactive, positive ways to engage our Muslim neighbors.

Thankfully, many goodwill people of faith already have reached out to Muslims in their community through acts of friendship, solidarity and support.

Zach Dawes is the managing editor for You can follow him on Twitter @ZachDawes_Jr.

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