The frontrunner for the Republican presidential candidacy for 2016, Donald Trump, has declared that all Muslim immigrants should be banned from entering the United States. Trump made the announcement on Monday via a campaign press release in the wake of the terrorist attack in San Bernardino in California last week.
“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,” the press release stated. Trump has previously said that he would support a database of every Muslim in the US and surveillance on mosques. His comments are likely to force other Republican candidates to explain their own position on the issue, with many of Trump’s supporters approving of the idea both at his rally and on social media.
“I think that we should definitely disallow any Muslims from coming in – any of them,” says 75-year-old Myrtle Beach resident Charlie Marzka. “The reason is simple: we can’t identify what their attitude is.” Trump’s suggestion has caused a storm of outrage in the media and among other prominent politicians; however, it is unlikely to affect his popularity with the primary voters among his own party.
The contest for the Republican nomination continues to be heated and Trump has been leading the pack for months despite, or possibly as a result of, his knack for controversial statements. Trump’s press release demanding a ban on Muslim immigrants and tourists pointed to a recent poll showing one-quarter of US Muslims think violence against Americans is acceptable in a worldwide jihadist campaign.