Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has said the United States should consider databases to track Muslims. He also has said he would “strongly consider” closing mosques to prevent terrorism. Now, in the wake of last week’s San Bernardino terrorist attacks that killed 14, Trump wants to keep Muslims from immigrating to the United States — at least for now.
That’s the suggestion Trump made in a statement Monday, and it marks a sharp escalation of his anti-Muslim rhetoric. After terrorist attacks in Paris and now in California, the billionaire businessman said the United States should close its borders to those who practice Islam until “our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
“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 the 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.”
In a cynical — given the context — use of his campaign slogan, Trump added: “If I win the election for [president], we are going to Make America Great Again.”
Trump’s comments came a day after President Barack Obama implored Americans not to hold all Muslims accountable for the acts of a few. The president attempted to calm the nation after U.S. citizen Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, his Pakistani-born wife, committed what the FBI described as an “act of terrorism” when they shot up a local government holiday office party last week.
Other Republican presidential candidates have called for more aggressive terrorist investigations and increased intelligence gathering, as well as preventing Muslim refugees entering the United States from Syria. But only Trump wants to ban the entry of all Muslims, a move clearly designed to mine the deepest depths of U.S. Islamophobia.
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