Donald Trump calls for banning all Muslims from entering UStext_fields
Washington: A day after US President Barack Obama called for rejecting religious tests for admission into the country, leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump proposed a total shutdown of Muslims entering America.
However, the business tycoon turned White House aspirant's remarks were immediately ridiculed by his presidential rivals.
According to a statement issued by his campaign, Trump called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."
According to Pew Research, among others, there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population, his campaign said Monday.
Most recently, a poll from the Centre for Security Policy released data showing "25 per cent of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad" and 51 per cent of those polled, "agreed" that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah.
"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 said.
Trump was immediately slammed by other presidential candidates.
"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," New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, said.
Christie a Republican presidential candidate is ranking low in a crowded GOP race.
Bernie Sanders, a leading Democratic candidate, criticised Trump for his statement. "Demagogues throughout our history have attempted to divide us based on race, gender, sexual orientation or country of origin," he said.
"Now, Trump and others want us to hate all Muslims. The United States is a great nation when we stand together. We are a weak nation when we allow racism and xenophobia to divide us," Sanders said.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) condemned Trump's policy statement by Trump "calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.
Top Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, denounced Trump's statement as "reprehensible, prejudiced and divisive".
"You don't get it. This makes us less safe," Clinton tweeted.
Martin O'Malley, another Democratic candidate, said the latest statement from Trump shows that he is running for president "as a fascist demagogue".
Republican Jeb Bush, who is struggling in his campaign, said, Trump is "unhinged" and his "policy" proposals are not serious.
Trump, however, stood by his statement, even as he was blasted by his political opponents and the media.
"The mainstream media wants to surrender constitutional rights -- I believe ISIS needs to surrender!" he tweeted.
At a campaign rally in South Carolina, Trump acknowledged that his statement on Muslims might not be "politically correct".
"We have no idea who is coming into our country, no idea if they like us or hate us. I wrote something today that is very salient and probably not very politically correct. But I don't care," he said a cheering crowd.
In an interview to Fox News, Trump said his policy does not apply to Muslim Americans.