Donald Trump calls for blocking all Muslims from entering the U.S.


Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump released a statement Monday calling for the blocking of all Muslims from entering the U.S.

The statement is rather vague about when and how such a blockade would be implemented. The campaign confirmed to Reuters that it would apply to “everyone.” A spokeswoman for the Trump campaign confirmed the statement’s authenticity to the New York Times, claiming “death” prompted his message.

Trump says the blockade would last until, “our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” citing a Pew poll about some Muslims’ attitudes toward the U.S. (I couldn’t find the supposed poll Trump’s statement refers to, and in a statement to me, Pew said it couldn’t determine which poll Trump was referring to.)

In 2013, a Pew poll found that 86% of American Muslims say suicide bombings and other forms of violence against civilian targets are rarely or never justified to defend Islam from its enemies, and that worldwide, most Muslims also reject such violence, with a median of 72% saying such attacks are never justified and 10% saying they are rarely justified.

Trump cites another poll put out by a group call the Center for Security Policy, whose head Southern Poverty Law Center has called an “anti-Muslim conspiracist.”

In any event, Trump says that, polling data aside, “the hatred is beyond comprehension”:

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.

He Tweeted this about the statement Monday:

Trump has grown increasingly critical of Muslims in the wake of shootings in Colorado Springs, Colo., and San Bernardino, Calif., and has maintained the unfounded theory that American Muslims were witnessed “cheering” in New Jersey on 9/11.

Trump’s comments are not wholly outside where the mainstream GOP’s views on this issue lie. Last month, Jeb Bush said the U.S. should consider issuing religious tests to refugees to prove they are Christian before they would be admitted. While he would not explicitly block Muslims, he said that, “If you can’t prove {you’re Christian), you are on the side of caution.”

However, Bush Tweeted this Monday evening:

In a statement to Politico, Sen. Ted Cruz said he disagreed with Trump’s idea.

Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, a conservative, criticized Trumps’ latest views in a Tweet.

In his speech last night, President Obama warned against discriminating against Muslims despite recent terrorist attacks:

It’s our responsibility to reject proposals that Muslim Americans should somehow be treated differently. Because when we travel down that road, we lose. That kind of divisiveness, that betrayal of our values plays into the hands of groups like ISIL.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement Monday saying Trump “sounds like a leader of a mob, not like a leader of a great nation like ours. He is doing the work of ISIS.”

According to national polls compiled by RealClearPolitics, Trump maintains a double-digit lead over Ted Cruz.

Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.

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