The latest in a series of statements sparking global condemnation by Republican front-runner Donald Trump has the billionaire presidential hopeful calling for a full-scale ban on all Muslims entering the United States for an indefinite period of time.
Trump described the move as a “total and complete shutdown” of all admission of Muslims into America, and his campaign confirmed this ban would apply not just to foreigners, but also to American citizens who happen to be Muslim and are overseas for vacations or other purposes. Trump, however, later walked this back, saying citizens could freely travel because “that’s different.”
Trump’s campaign defended the ban as a “reasonable precaution,” with his senior policy adviser Sam Clovis saying that there was “nothing wrong” with having the US “take a break, have a look and make sure everything is cool,” before they allow any Muslims into the country.
Clovis insisted that it was “historically” reasonable to ban Muslims, though he did not cite historical examples, and the United States has never had any religion-specific ban on entry.
This latest call was quickly disavowed by other candidates, as well as the White House, who called it a cynical attempt to play on Americans’ fears, adding it was contrary to America’s central values to start banning people on the basis of religion.