Donald Trump: Ban All Muslim Immigration and Travel to US
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump on Monday called for a ban on all Muslim immigration and travel to the United States until the nation’s leaders can “figure out what is going on.”
Reading from a script titled “Donald J. Trump Statement on Preventing Muslim Immigration” the billionaire businessman told a cheering South Carolina audience that he 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.”
Trump noted what he called “great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population” as justification for excluding Muslim immigration. He cited a poll from the Center for Security Policy (CSP) which found that “25 percent of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad and 51 percent of those polled agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Sharia,” or Islamic law.
“Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension,” said Trump. “Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. 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. If I win the election for President, we are going to make America great again.”
Reuters reports Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said every Muslim foreigner, including students and tourists, would be excluded from the US.
Critics accused Trump of Islamophobia and noted the dubious nature of the CSP poll he cited when accusing Muslims of hating America. CSP is a far-right, Tea Party-linked think tank led by Frank Gaffney, who the Southern Poverty Law Center has called a “notorious Islamophobe” who is “gripped by paranoid fantasies about Muslims destroying the West from within.” CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, banned Gaffney from participating in its 2011 gathering.
“We’re entering into the realm of the fascist now,” Ibrahim Hooper, director of the advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said, according to Reuters. “It should be disturbing not only to American Muslims, but it should be disturbing to all Americans that the leading Republican presidential candidate would issue essentially a fascist statement like this.”
Nancy Morawetz, a professor of clinical law at New York University School of Law who specializes in immigration, told the New York Times that Trump’s proposal is “just so antithetical to the history of the United States.”
“I cannot recall any historical precedent for denying immigration based on religion,” said Morawetz, who noted that the United States later regretted its racist and xenophobic ban on Chinese immigration at the end of the 19th century. “It’s a very sad chapter in American immigration history that we would think is behind us today.”
White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes agreed, telling CNN that Trump’s proposal is “contrary to American values.”
Other Republican presidential candidates blasted Trump after his announcement.
“Donald Trump is unhinged. His ‘policy’ proposals are not serious,” tweeted former Florida governor Jeb Bush.
“This is just more of the outrageous divisiveness that characterizes his every breath and another reason why he is entirely unsuited to lead the United States,” Ohio Gov. John Kasich said in a statement.
However, supporters welcomed Trump’s proposed Muslim ban, with more than 20,000 people ‘liking’ his statement within an hour of its posting on Facebook.
“Donald J. Trump is the only candidate from either party who has the gonads to call it like it is and isn’t afraid to come up with a plan of action that isn’t tied to a bunch of political correctness,” wrote James Russell of Loudon, Tennessee on Facebook. “We desperately need him in the White House if this country is to survive!”
“Trump 2016! We need this POS Muslim out of the White House now,” commented Facebook user Shane Scott. “He is destroying this country on so many levels.”
“Muslims need to go home,” commented Sherry Proffer on Facebook. “We don’t want Sharia law here either.”
There are some 1.6 billion Muslims alive today, or about 23 percent of the world’s population, who would be affected by Trump’s proposed ban. There are around 2.6 million Muslims already in the United States. Trump has previously said that if elected he would implement a government database of Muslims, and he has also refused to rule out forcing Muslims to carry special identification.