Donald Trump says he would close ISIS-affiliated mosques
When asked on Fox Business Network if the United States should revoke passports and close mosques to fight Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL), as the United Kingdom has, Trump responded, “I would do that, absolutely.”
"If you go out, you go fight for ISIS, you can't come back. Why can't you do it? You can do it here," he added.
Fox Business Network host Jim Varney pressed Trump about the mosque issue, asking if such a move would violate religious freedom guarantees.
"Well, I don't know. It depends on if the mosque is, you know, loaded for bear,” he said, using a hunting expression for being ready for violent opposition.
“You're going to have to certainly look at it."
The comments immediately drew ire from the Muslim community in America.
"It is truly outrageous that the leading Republican presidential candidate would announce openly that he would violate the First Amendment to the US Constitution by closing down religious institutions," Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told The Daily News. “I hope this finally prompts people to speak out against this off-the-rails Islamophobia that we are seeing from the right wing of the American political sector."
Trump’s fellow Republican, Rep. Peter King (R-New York) also took issue with the candidate’s remark.
"Donald Trump is talking before he knows what he's talking about. I have been critical of people in the Muslim community, but the fact is you can't be going around shutting down mosques," King said on Fox News Channel on Wednesday.
The presidential frontrunner drew similar criticism when he did not contradict a supporter at a September rally who made anti-Islamic comments.
“We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims. You know our president is one,” the supporter said, apparently accepting of the mistaken myth peddled by some on the right in US politics that President Obama is a Muslim, when in fact he is known to be a Christian.
Trump has said that he is concerned with religious extremists in particular, not average Muslims.
“I love the Muslims,” he said in September. “I think they’re great people.”