Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally on Saturday in Davenport, Iowa. (Photo: Charlie Neibergall/AP)
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” until the country’s representatives can “figure out what is going on.”
The Trump campaign released a statement Monday afternoon declaring his commitment to preventing Muslim immigration. The campaign justifies this discrimination by saying that large segments of the Muslim population bear “great hatred toward Americans.”
“Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension,” Trump said in a statement. “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.”
The release cites a recent poll from the Center for Security Policy, a Washington, D.C.-based national security think tank, which said that 25 percent of U.S. Muslims asked think that violence against Americans in the U.S. is justified as a “part of the global jihad.”
It’s unclear how wide-reaching Trump’s proposed ban would be — Does it include Muslim leaders of countries that are U.S. allies, like the King of Jordan, for instance? — or how he’d specifically carry out such a plan.
Representatives for the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Yahoo News.
But when asked by The Hill whether Trump’s theoretical ban “would include Muslim-American citizens currently abroad,” spokeswoman Hope Hicks replied, “Mr. Trump says, ‘Everyone.’”
Ibrahim Hooper, the national communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, was startled that a major contemporary U.S. political figure would make such a sweeping declaration.
“You have to wonder what he is going to call for next. I don’t even want to go there,” Hooper said to Yahoo News. “You have to wonder what he says next as he ramps up his anti-Muslim bigotry to new heights. It’s completely astounding. I don’t know what to say.”
Trump’s statement comes a day after President Obama addressed the nation to discuss terrorism and warned against letting the war on ISIS be defined as a “war between America and Islam.”
“ISIL does not speak for Islam,” the commander in chief said. “They are thugs and killers, part of a cult of death, and they account for a tiny fraction of more than a billion Muslims around the world — including millions of patriotic Muslim Americans who reject their hateful ideology.”
In an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” just last week, Trump boasted about his relationship with Muslims.
“I have many Muslim friends,” the real estate mogul said. “They’re wonderful people.”