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Prominent Muslim leader urges calm after Donald Trump's surprise election win

Last Updated Nov 9, 2016 at 8:04 pm EDT

Head of the world's Ahmadiyya Muslim community, Caliph Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, speaks to media in Calgary, on Wednesday, November 9, 2016. Masroor Ahmad says he does not believe the Republican president-elect will go ahead with a campaign promise to crack down on Muslims.THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Lauren Krugel

CALGARY – A prominent Muslim leader is urging calm after Donald Trump’s surprise U.S. election win.

Caliph Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad told reporters Wednesday he does not believe the Republican president-elect will go ahead with a campaign promise to crack down on Muslims.

“I’m sure what he is saying, it will never be implemented,” he said at the Baitun Nur Mosque in Calgary.

“But it is not only wishful thinking. I don’t think any government, any sane person can ever take this step.”

The head of the world’s Ahmadiyya Muslim community made his remarks on the last stop of a six-week Canadian tour that included visits in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta. He met one-on-one with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last month.

The sect, which professes peacefulness and the separation of mosque and state, has tens of millions of followers spread across more than 200 countries, including thousands in Canada.

The tour coincided with the community’s 50th anniversary in Canada.

During the long and bitter campaign, Trump drew condemnation for a plan to ban Muslim travel into the United States, though he later dialled back that rhetoric.

The caliph, who lives in the United Kingdom, said Trump’s party, the Pentagon and CIA would all advise the incoming president against such a move.

“I don’t think they can ever afford this type of disturbance in their own country.”

The spiritual leader also noted a change in tone between Trump’s bluster on the campaign trail and his victory speech on Tuesday night.

For instance, Trump had repeatedly demanded that his Democratic challenger be put behind bars, but is now calling her an asset to the country.

“His attitude has completely changed overnight.”

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