Republican Presidential front-runner Donald Trump, 69, has called Monday for barring all Muslims from entering the United States.
“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,” a campaign press release said.
“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,” Trump said in a 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.”
Trump’s campaign added in the release that such a ban should remain in effect “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
The release pointed to an online poll from the controversial Center for Security Policy, which claimed that a quarter of Muslims living in the U.S. believe violence against Americans is justified as part of a global jihadist campaign. Critics have questioned the reliability of the organization’s information. It also pointed to a Pew Research poll, which the campaign declined to identify, which the campaign claimed points to “great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population.”
Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski on Monday said that the ban would apply not just to Muslim foreigners looking to immigrate to the U.S., but also to Muslims looking to visit the U.S. as tourists.
“Everyone,” Lewandowski said when asked if the ban would also apply to Muslim tourists.
“Great surveillance and vigilance must be adhered to,” said Trump in an additional statement Lewandowski provided to CNN. “We want to be very fair but too many bad things are happening and the percentage of true hatred is too great. People that are looking to destroy our country must be reported and turned in by the good people who love our country and want America to be great again.”
Trump however said that his policy would not apply to current Muslims in the U.S. during a Fox News interview on Monday evening.
Meanwhile, President Obama’s administration has condemned the proposal.
Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes reacting to Trump’s call on Monday said that it is “totally contrary to our values as Americans” and pointed to the Bill of Rights’ protection of freedom of religion and pointing to the “extraordinary contributions” Muslim Americans have made to the U.S.
How Donald Trump thinks banning muslims from entering the US will help fight terrorism is incomprehensible to me. I really hope Americans do not elect this man as President, I really hope.