Real-estate mogul Donald Trump released a statement on Monday calling for the US government to bar all Muslims from entering the country until the terrorist “problem” is under control.
“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” his campaign statement said.
Trump’s campaign pointed to a poll from the Center for Security Policy, a think tank founded by Frank Gaffney, a fierce critic of Islam.
That survey, published in June, claimed a “significant” minority of American Muslims “embrace supremacist notions that could pose a threat to America’s security and its constitutional form of government.”
Trump said it’s time for the US to look at the “hatred” from Muslims.
“Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine,” the candidate said in the statement.
“Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life,” he continued. “If I win the election for President, we are going to Make America Great Again.”
Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told The Associated Press that the proposal would apply to “everybody,” including both Muslim tourists and those seeking immigration visas.
Trump is no stranger to campaign-trail controversies related to Islam, including his apparent openness to a database of American Muslims and his disputed claim that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheered as the World Trade Center buildings collapsed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
But Trump’s campaign has thrived off of the controversies, and the Republican front-runner frequently denounces political correctness.
His latest statement came after last week’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, which left 14 people dead. The FBI said the two shooters had “self-radicalized,” and one of them allegedly pledged allegediance to the Islamic State group, aka ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh.
Last Thursday, Trump said the shooting “looks like another Islamic disaster.”
Some of Trump’s Republican and Democratic rivals quickly condemned his plan to bar Muslim immigrants and travelers from the US.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) responded in a tweet, calling Trump “unhinged.”
Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) released a one-sentence statement ripping the real-estate mogul as unfit for the Oval Office.
“This is just more of the outrageous divisivenes that characterizes his every breath and another reason why he is entirely unsuited to lead the United States,” Kasich said.
And New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) called Trump’s proposal “ridiculous” in a radio interview with host Michael Medved. His campaign published a transcript of Christie’s comments on social media and in a press release.
“Again, this is the kind of thing that people say when they have no experience and don’t know what they’re talking about. We do not need to endorse that type of activity, nor should we,” Christie said. He later added, “And you do not need to be banning Muslims from the country. That’s, in my view, that’s a ridiculous position and one that won’t even be productive.”