By Brad Edwards

(CBS) — A heated Republican presidential debate that focused on the war against ISIS.

CBS 2’s Brad Edwards spoke to Chicago area Muslims to get their take.

It was a debate hyper-focused on terrorism in light of Paris and then San Bernardino and Tuesday’s shut down of Los Angeles schools because of a threat.

On their 15th floor office in the Loop at the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR, several board members joined in to watch the debate.

“It’s actually merciful to go ahead and finish the job rather than death by a thousand pricks,” candidate Ben Carson said.

“I would be very, very firm with families and frankly, that will make people think,” said Donald Trump. “Because they may not care much about their lives, but they do care, believe it or not, about their family’s lives.”

They picked up on words like “World War II” and “radical Islam.”

“History is normally defined and is often defined by who wins, what kind of voices win out,” said Ahmed Rehab, executive director of CAIR. “This is basically a fear-fest, a fear-factory. We have nine Senator McCarthys standing here bring back that vision.”

“We are American,” said CAIR board member Dr. Aisha El-Amin. “That shouldn’t be at question and it is right now.”

The tones changed throughout. The group we viewed with said early on it seemed very much like a nuanced debate on Islam.