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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
The proposed ban would stand “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” his campaign said in a statement.
The statement added that Trump’s proposal comes in response to the level of hatred among “large segments of the Muslim population” toward Americans.
“Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life,” Trump said in the statement.
He added on Twitter: “Just put out a very important policy statement on the extraordinary influx of hatred & danger coming into our country. We must be vigilant!”
Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said the presidential candidate’s proposed ban would apply to “everybody,” including Muslims seeking immigration visas as well as tourists looking to enter the country.
He did not respond to questions about whether it would also include Muslims who are U.S. citizens and travel outside of the country, or how a determination of someone’s religion might be made by customs and border officials.
In response to a request for additional detail, Trump said via a campaign spokeswoman: “Because I am so politically correct, I would never be the one to say. You figure it out!”
Monday night, while speaking at a rally in South Carolina, Trump said “We have to respect mosques. We have to look at mosques. We have no choice. We have to see what’s happening.”
“We can be politically correct and be stupid, but it’s going to get worse and worse,” Trump said of his suggestion to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.
Trump was interrupted at least twice by hecklers during the speech.
Trump’s proposal comes a day after President Barack Obama spoke to the nation from the Oval Office in the wake of last week’s shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., which Obama said was “an act of terrorism designed to kill innocent people.”
The FBI on Monday said the Muslim couple who carried out the massacre had been radicalized and had taken target practice at area gun ranges, in one case within days of the Dec. 2 attack that killed 14 people.
Dec. 7, 6 p.m.: Updated with comments from Monday’s rally in South Carolina.
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