Ban would include all Muslim immigrants and tourists, and even Muslim-Americans currently abroad
Presidential candidate Donald Trump sucked up all the media oxygen yet again on Monday when his campaign released a statement 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.”
Many on Twitter assumed at first that the statement was a hoax, but it was tweeted by Trump senior adviser Dan Scavino, and then posted on Trump’s website and retweeted by Trump himself, who called it “a very important policy statement on the extraordinary influx of hatred & danger coming into our country.”
Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski confirmed to the Associated Press that the intention was for the ban to apply to “everybody,” including both immigrants and tourists. The Hill asked Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks if this would include Muslim-American citizens who were currently abroad, Hicks replied by email: “Mr. Trump says ‘everyone.'”
Memo to Kareem Abdul Jabbar, make sure you don't leave the country after Trump inauguration. You might not get back in.
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahDispatch) December 7, 2015
Trump also retweeted several tweets from David Brody with the Christian Broadcasting Network that described his proposed Muslim ban as an act of “bravery” that would likely “give him a boost with evangelicals.”
Expect the @realDonaldTrump statement on USA Muslim ban to give him a boost with evangelicals.
— David Brody (@DavidBrodyCBN) December 7, 2015
Here is the truth whether you like it or not:@realDonaldTrump is only candidate to have the bravery to put out that statement on Muslims
— David Brody (@DavidBrodyCBN) December 7, 2015
Most were far less supportive of Trump’s idea, with immediate criticism coming from all across the political spectrum denouncing the idea as extreme, even fascist. “One has to wonder what Donald Trump will say next as he ramps up his anti-Muslim bigotry,” Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations told the Washington Post. “Where is there left for him to go? Are we talking internment camps? Are we talking the final solution to the Muslim question? I feel like I’m back in the 1930s.” Politico’s Marc Caputo tweeted that the statement was likely to encourage Stormfronters, referring to the white supremacist website.
Forget dog whistles. This is a dinner bell for anti-Muslim bigots. And the Stormfronters are hungry pic.twitter.com/tJsLdGzKM0
— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) December 7, 2015
Other GOP presidential candidates react
Most of Trump’s competitors in the Republican presidential primary immediately condemned his proposal.
Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) slammed Trump as “unhinged” and tweeted that Trump’s policy proposals were not serious, putting “policy” in mocking quotes.
Donald Trump is unhinged. His "policy" proposals are not serious.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) December 7, 2015
I disagree with Donald Trump’s latest proposal. His habit of making offensive and outlandish statements will not bring Americans together. The next President better be somebody who can unite our country to face the great challenges of the 21st Century.
“I think Donald Trump’s overreaction is as dangerous as President Obama’s underreaction,” said Carly Fiorina. “President Obama isn’t prepared to do anything, which is clearly foolish, but Donald Trump always plays on everyone’s worst instincts and fears. And saying we’re not going to let a single Muslim into this country is a dangerous overreaction.”
Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) told talk radio host Michael Medved that Trump’s idea was “the kind of thing that people say when they have no experience and don’t know what they’re talking about.” Continued Christie: “We do not need to endorse that type of activity, nor should we. What we need to do is to increase our intelligence capabilities and activity both around the world and in the homeland…We need to cooperate with peaceful Muslim Americans, who want to give us intelligence against those who are radicalized.”
Ben Carson also rejected Trump’s proposal. Carson’s communication manager Doug Watts told The Daily Beast that while all foreign visitors did need to register under existing visa laws before entering the country, “We do not and would not advocate being selective on one’s religion.”
On the other hand, both Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) would only support limited bans based on the risk of the country of origin. In a statement posted Sunday on his campaign website, Cruz called for “an immediate moratorium on refugees from countries with a significant al Qaeda or ISIS presence.”
Earlier Monday, Paul voiced his support for a restriction on immigration from Middle Eastern countries, in an appearance on Fox Business, according to a tweet by The Intelligence Report host Trish Regan that Paul retweeted:
— Trish Regan Intel (@TrishIntel) December 7, 2015
When pressed for clarification by The Daily Beast’s Olivia Nuzzi, the Paul campaign released a statement touting his national security credentials:
Asked Rand Paul's campaign for a response to Trump's proposal. This is all they had to say: pic.twitter.com/wHRVrHgolg
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) December 7, 2015
(New York, NY) December 7th, 2015, — Donald J. Trump 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. According to Pew Research, among others, there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population. Most recently, a poll from the Center for Security Policy released data showing “25% of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad” and 51% of those polled, “agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah.” Shariah authorizes such atrocities as murder against non-believers who won’t convert, beheadings and more unthinkable acts that pose great harm to Americans, especially women.
Mr. Trump stated, “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. 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.” – Donald J. Trump
(added by WAJ) Trump also appeared on Greta to reiterate his position:
This post has been updated to include a statement from Sen. Marco Rubio, to clarify Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul’s reactions, to add Trump’s appearance on Greta, and for brevity.
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