Trump distances himself from database to track Muslims

21 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Donald Trump distances himself from endorsement of tracking Muslims in US.

Donald Trump Friday walked back his comments that Muslims register in the United States after a huge backlash from his Republican presidential rivals, including a rare rebuke from Ted Cruz. TRENTON — Facing a new controversy after appearing to endorse the idea of setting up a database to track Muslims in the U.S., Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Friday sought to clarify he didn’t actively call for the concept.

AP Photo/Richard Shiro Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a town hall meeting at the Ben Johnson Arena on the Wofford College campus, Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Spartanburg, S.C.Donald Trump has retaken the lead in Republicans’ multi-candidate 2016 presidential race, after incendiary rhetoric about closing mosques and going “beyond databases” in keeping an eye on Muslim Americans. “The Donald” has support from 28 percent of Republican and GOP-leaning independent voters, according to an NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll taken Nov. 15-17. Trump’s GOP rivals immediately pounced on the remarks — even Democrat Hillary Clinton bashed him on Twitter — and Cruz broke with his longstanding policy of not attacking the developer during the campaign. “I’m a big fan of Donald Trump’s, but I’m not a fan of government registries of American citizens,” the Texas senator said after a speech in Iowa, . “The First Amendment protects religious liberty. During a campaign stop in Iowa, Trump told an NBC reporter he would “certainly implement” a registry forcing Muslims to “sign up at different places” and make themselves known. On Thursday, Yahoo Politics published an interview in which Trump was asked if he would consider Muslims being tracked via some sort of database or identification system.

According to a report by the New York Times, asked later how such a database would be different from Jews having to register in Nazi Germany, the republican front-runner repeatedly said, “You tell me,” before dismissing the question. “Singling out any ethnic or faith group to register with the government is morally repugnant, not to mention unconstitutional,” AJC Executive Director David Harris said. “What Mr. According to the report, Trump replied: “We’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely.” The businessman has been aggressive in his stance that the U.S. needs to be vigilant in the wake of last Friday’s Paris terrorist attacks — which the Islamic State, or ISIS, claimed credit for launching. “There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases,” Trump said, according to video of the interview. “We should have a lot of systems, and today you could do it. Trump proposes, in this case targeting all Muslims, is a horror movie that we Jews are quite familiar with.” Harris added that such a move can “easily lead to heightened discrimination, persecution, and scapegoating. Critics quickly condemned Trump’s remarks, with some likening such a system to how Nazis forced Jewish residents of Germany to register during the Holocaust. On the campaign trail, Republican presidential candidates have issued calls for a prioritization of Christian refugees over Muslim ones and, in Ben Carson’s case, defended a closed-border policy with an analogy about rabid dogs.

We must defeat Islamic terrorism & have surveillance, including a watch list, to protect America.’ Jeb Bush, his Republican rival for the White House, called the database suggestion ‘abhorrent’, Breitbart reported. But right now we have to have a border, we have to have strength, we have to have a wall.” In the ensuing conversation, Trump seemed to conflate the refugee situation with illegal immigration into the US, at times appearing not to distinguish between the two. But Carson has been hurt, notably by a Fox News Sunday poll in which he could not name a single country that he would invite to join in a coalition fighting ISIS.

He replied: “They have to be – They have to be.” Pressed to explain how he would carry out such a proposal, and if there would be a sign-up at mosques, Trump said: “Different places. And Carson’s campaign — as part of declaration on rejecting Syrian refugees — published a map of America that had Maine in Canada, and upstate New York and Vermont with coastlines. Ibrahim Hooper, national spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he was ‘at a loss for words’ after hearing Trump’s plan, adding: ‘What else can you compare this to except to prewar Nazi Germany?’ While some of his rivals have been chastised by the president for suggesting that Christian Syrian refugees be given preference over Muslims, Trump has gone further in his rhetoric, advocating new restrictions on civil liberties and enhanced surveillance activities, including inside mosques. But it’s all about management.” On Friday, Trump said on Twitter that he didn’t suggest creating a database but instead was answering a question from a reporter. Civil liberties experts said a database for Muslims would be unconstitutional on several counts, while the libertarian Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapiro said the idea also violates basic privacy and liberty rights.

The poll was taken just before Clinton delivered a foreign policy speech calling for a stepped up U.S. effort against ISIS, immediate deployment of U.S. special forces advisers and creation of a no-fly zone in areas of Syria along the Turkish border. Trump has used media interviews and tweets to dominate the Republican race. “I’m the Ernest Hemingway of 140 letters,” Trump boasted Friday, in the midst of exploding with 12 tweets denouncing Gov. They also criticized Carson, who on Thursday compared blocking potential terrorists posing as Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. to handling a rabid dog. ‘If there’s a rabid dog running around in your neighborhood, you’re probably not going to assume something good about that dog,’ Carson told reporters at a campaign stops in Alabama. ‘It doesn’t mean you hate all dogs, but you’re putting your intellect into motion.’ ‘By mainstreaming Islamophobic and unconstitutional policies, Donald Trump and Ben Carson are contributing to an already toxic environment that may be difficult to correct once their political ambitions have been satisfied,’ CAIR’s Robert McCaw said in a statement. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has slotted the bill for possible Senate consideration, though it’s unclear whether the chamber could get enough votes to override a threatened veto by President Barack Obama.

The president was in Malaysia when the comments were made and his spokesman was asked a series of questions by travelling White House reporters but none asked about the Trump comments. That won’t fly in any court.” Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation League in New York called Trump’s proposal “deeply troubling and reminiscent of darker days in American history when others were singled out for scapegoating.” Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton challenged all Republican candidates to disavow Trump’s comments. Republicans have vacillated in their handling of other inflammatory comments from him, wary of alienating his supporters but also increasingly concerned that he’s managed to maintain his grip on the GOP race deep into the fall. Chris Christie said creating a national registry based on religion and closing mosques “will do nothing to keep us safer and shows a lack of understanding on how to effectively prevent terrorist attacks.” Ohio Gov. Associated Press writers Bill Barrow in Mobile, Alabama; Steve Peoples in Sioux City, Iowa; Catherine Lucey in Des Moines and Julie Bykowicz and Mark Sherman in Washington contributed to this report.

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