Trump stands by comment on Muslims

The politician says his proposed ban would not apply to American citizens travelling abroad

December 10, 2015 10:37 am | Updated November 17, 2021 02:05 am IST

Donald Trump holds one of his signs after Monday’s rally.

Donald Trump holds one of his signs after Monday’s rally.

Congressmen, rival candidates, world leaders and even the creators of Harry Potter and The Shining all agree — Donald Trump’s call to block Muslims from entering the U.S. goes too far.

The Republican presidential front-runner’s statement on Monday, advocating a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S.”, was blasted as bigoted, unconstitutional and potentially dangerous for American interests abroad. U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon denounced “any kind of rhetoric that relies on Islamophobia, xenophobia, any other appeal to hate any groups”. “This is not conservatism,” Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters after a closed-door Republican caucus meeting. “What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for, and more importantly it’s not what this country stands for.”

Mr. Trump, who appears to revel in the attention, didn’t back down from his proposal on Tuesday, saying that banning Muslims “until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on” is warranted after last month’s attacks by Muslim extremists in Paris and last week’s shootings in San Bernardino, California. “Somebody in this country has to say what’s right,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with ABC on Tuesday. “It’s short-term. Let our country get its act together.”

Selective exemptions

Mr. Trump’s proposed ban would apply to immigrants and visitors alike, a sweeping prohibition affecting adherents of a religion practiced by more than a billion people worldwide. Mr. Trump clarified in a round of television interviews on Tuesday that his proposed ban would not apply to American citizens travelling abroad and would allow exemptions for certain people, including the leaders of West Asian countries and athletes for certain sporting events.

Among those not specified in his list of exemptions are Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai and the four civil society groups that led Tunisia’s transition to democracy all Muslim Nobel Peace Prize winners. — AP

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