In lieu of the deadly terror attacks involving Islamic extremists in California and France, Republican presidential hopeful and real estate mogul Donald Trump is calling for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.
“Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension,” Trump said in a statement emailed to reporters on Monday.
“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 continued.
Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager, told The Associated Press that the ban would apply to “everybody,” including Muslims seeking tourist visas. Last month, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), one of Trump’s rivals for the GOP presidential nomination, introduced a similar proposal that would prevent refugees from obtaining tourist and immigration visas if they are from one of about 30 countries with a “significant jihadist movement.”
Trump’s call to bar Muslim immigration into the U.S. is just the latest in a series of anti-Islamic statements. He previously suggested shuttering certain mosques in the U.S. and claimed he saw footage of American Muslims cheering after the 9/11 attacks — footage that no television network has been able to dig up.
There is some evidence that such anti-Muslim rhetoric has support among GOP primary voters. According to Public Policy Polling, which has regularly polled voters on their attitudes toward Muslims, a significant portion of GOP primary voters in North Carolina believe Islam should be outright illegal in the United States.
Over and over again, Trump’s outlandish statements have pressured Republican candidates and party leaders to respond. Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus will likely face calls to do so ahead of a scheduled fundraiser with Trump in New York City this week.
On Monday, Trump touted his new proposal on his favourite medium — Twitter.
“Just put out a very important policy statement on the extraordinary influx of hatred & danger coming into our country,” he wrote. “We must be vigilant!”