Washington: Democratic presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton Sunday slammed Donald Trump's recent comments about banning Muslim immigrants, saying the Republican front- runner was "becoming ISIS's best recruiter".
"He is becoming ISIS's best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists," she said.
She said that "it was not in America's interest to react with this kind of fear and respond to this sort of bigotry."
Trump, 69, was among the top issue being debated at the Democratic presidential debate in New Hampshire. Other Republican candidates hardly figured in the debate, thus reflecting that all of them consider him as their main rival.
"I worry greatly that the rhetoric coming from the Republicans, particularly Donald Trump, is sending a message to Muslims here in the US and literally around the world that there is a 'clash of civilisations,' that there is some kind of Western plot or even 'war against Islam,' which then I believe fans the flames of radicalisation," she alleged.
Slamming Trump for his anti-Muslim rhetoric including his call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the US, 68-year-old Clinton said the first line of defence against radicalisation is in Muslim-American community.
"Trump has a great capacity to use bluster and bigotry to inflame people and to make think there are easy answers to very complex questions," she said.
"We need to be united against the threats that we face. We need to have everybody in our country focused on watching what happens and reporting it if it's suspicious, reporting what you hear. Making sure that Muslim Americans don't feel left out or marginalised at the very moment when we need their help," she said.
Clinton asserted that the Muslim community needs to be befriended not demonized.
"We must work more closely with Muslim-American communities. I met with a group of Muslim-Americans this past week to hear from them about what they're doing to try to stop radicalisation. They will be our early warning signal. That's why we need to work with them, not demonize them, as the Republicans have been doing," Clinton said.
Martin O’Malley, another Democratic presidential candidate, alleged that Trump is incompetent.
"We need to speak to what unites us as a people; freedom of worship, freedom of religion, freedom of expression. And we should never be convinced to give up those freedoms in exchange for a promise of greater security; especially from someone as untried and as incompetent as Trump," he said.
"I believe we stand together to address the real issues facing this country, not allow them to divide us by race or where we come from. Let's create an America that works for all of us, not the handful on top," said Bernie Sanders, who is seeking Democratic presidential nominee.
During the debate, Clinton even praised former president George W Bush, saying he reached out to Muslim Americans and told them that 'you are our partner'.