Trump Says He’s Open to Closing Mosques to Help Stop the Spread of ISIS
As Europe explores ways to address the risk of increased terror activity by ISIS with the massive influx of Muslim immigrants fleeing the chaotic situation in the Middle East, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination does not rule out closing certain mosques.
Responding to a question posed to him during an appearance on the Fox Business Network, Donald Trump told host Stuart Varney that it is worth exploring as a way to combat the spread of radical Islam that is represented by ISIS.
“I would do that, absolutely.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron has proposed closing mosques if a link can be established between a worshipped and ISIS, but Trump said he unsure whether such a move would be legal in the United States.
Despite Trump’s caution about the legality of closing places of worship, Robert McCaw, government affairs manager for the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), immediately seized on his statement.
“Donald Trump’s apparent willingness to close down American mosques that he deems ‘extreme’ is totally incompatible with the Constitution and our nation’s cherished principle of religious freedom.”
Muslims have grown angry with Trump, as well as Dr. Ben Carson, another candidate for the Republican nomination for what they see as anti-Muslim sentiment.
At a campaign event in September, Trump did not contradict a supporter who said, “We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims.”
Carson has gone on the record as questioning whether a Muslim should be president.
Trump has countered by saying his concern lies with radical Islam extremists, rather than all Muslims. “I love the Muslims. I think they’re great people.”
He has also said any effort to close an Islamic place of worship would have to consider the nature of the activities and leadership of the mosque.
“It depends if the mosque is, you know, loaded for bear,” he said.