(JTA) — Jared Kushner had a friendly but secret meeting with Muslim Americans prior to the inauguration of his father-in-law, Donald Trump, but the detente crumbled after the president banned entry to refugees and to travelers from seven Muslim majority countries.
“We thought discussing our nation’s founding values and freedom for Americans of all faiths was the responsible thing to do before Mr. Trump came to power,” Farhana Khera, the director of Muslim Advocates and one of five Muslim leaders at the meeting, told BuzzFeed, which on Tuesday broke the story of the early January get-together.
She said the Muslims abandoned the push after seeing Trump’s policy plans.
“It soon became clear, however, that unless Trump makes drastic changes and shows he’s committed to being a president for all Americans, engagement is not an effective tool at this stage,” Khera said.
In addition to the travel ban, which Trump put in place a week into his presidency but has been stayed by the courts, tensions between the Trump administration and Muslims were exacerbated by a visit to the White House by Brigitte Gabriel, who leads a group that has been described as Islamaphobic.