Republican presidential candidate and billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump has caused quite an uproar for comments he made Monday calling for a complete ban on all Muslims entering the US.
The ban, which would be a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” would apply to all Muslim visitors and immigrants. Questions about the unconstitutionality of such a law, which would defy freedom of religion, are already being discussed.
In a statement released by the Trump campaign, the ban would be in place “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” The statement added that the suggestion for the ban comes in response to Trump’s perceived level of hatred among “large segments of the Muslim population” towards the US.
“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,” the GOP hopeful said in a statement.
Trump’s comments come amid escalating terror attacks around the world, including those in Paris and San Bernardino, California. Supporters of his proposal include Conservative pundits Ann Coulter and Laura Ingram, who on Twitter expressed their support:
GO TRUMP, GO! https://t.co/wNHPSwm75q
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) December 7, 2015
Anyone who thinks @realDonaldTrump comments will hurt him don’t know the temperature of the American ppl.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) December 8, 2015
Rivals and critics of Trump were quick to issue their own condemnations of the proposal. Jeb Bush took to Twitter, calling Trump “unhinged.”
Donald Trump is unhinged. His “policy” proposals are not serious. — Jeb Bush (@JebBush) December 7, 2015
Carly Fiorina stated, “Trump’s overreaction is as dangerous as President Obama’s under-reaction.” Republican Senator John McCain called Trump’s idea “foolish.” When asked whether Trump’s inflammatory comments will hurt his standing in the polls, McCain answered, “I have no idea. I thought long ago that things he said would hurt his prospects, and he continues to go up.”
Bernie Sanders, a Democratic presidential nominee, slammed Trump, accusing him of racisim. “Trump and others want us to hate all Muslims. The United States is a great nation when we stand together,” he stated. “We are a weak nation when we allow racism and xenophobia to divide us.”
Several Jewish organizations have issued their own condemnations of Trump’s proposal, with the Anti-Defamation League leading the pack by calling it “deeply offensive.”
“The US was founded as a place of refuge for those fleeing religious persecution, and religious pluralism is core to our national identity,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt in a statement. “A plan that singles out Muslims and denies them entry to the US based on their religion is deeply offensive and runs contrary to our nation’s deepest values.”
According to Greenblatt, Jewish Americans have learned from history the repercussions of singling out a particular religion. “In the Jewish community, we know all too well what can happen when a particular religious group is singled out for stereotyping and scapegoating,” he said. “We also know that this country must not give into fear by turning its back on its fundamental values, even at a time of great crisis. As we have said so many times, to do otherwise signals to the terrorists that they are winning the battle against democracy and freedom.”
The American Jewish Committee condemned “in the strongest terms” the “latest offensive and inflammatory comments from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.”
AJC Associate Executive Director for Policy Jason Isaacson stated, “As Americans, who just observed a holiday remembering Pilgrims who fled religious persecution in Europe to found a new home on these shores, we find Mr. Trump’s call abhorrent and wrong.”
“You don’t need to go back to the Hanukkah story to see the horrific results of religious persecution; religious stereotyping of this sort has been tried often, inevitably with disastrous results,” Isaacson stated.
“Yes, this country faces the very real threat of radical Islamist terror. We cannot, however, fall into the trap of blaming and banning an entire religious group, who overwhelmingly reject the violence and extremism of Islamist terrorists.”