A request for a way to track Muslims in the United States may seem ideal to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, but his idea is meeting resistance from both Democrats and Republicans alike.
The New York Times reports that while speaking to a NBC news reporter on Thursday while in Newton, Iowa, Trump confirmed that he would “absolutely” require a database system that tracks Muslims in the country. Yet, the real estate tycoon also added that a registry isn’t about singling out Muslims, but more so a way of keeping tabs on those who enter the country illegally.
“I would certainly implement that. Absolutely. There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases. We should have a lot of systems. The key is that people can come to the country, but they have to come in legally.”
In response, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took to Twitter to condemn Trump’s plans, writing that it should “be denounced by all seeking to lead this country.”
Republicans also expressed their shock over Trump’s statements, including fellow Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who feels Trump is playing off of people’s fears to gain popularity.
“You talk about internment, you talk about closing mosques, you talk about registering people. That’s just wrong. I don’t care about campaigns. It’s not a question of toughness. It’s to manipulate people’s angst and their fears. That’s not strength, that’s weakness.”
Others compared Trump’s ideas to that of Nazi Germany, including the national spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Ibrahim Hooper.
“What else can you compare this to except to prewar Nazi Germany? There’s no other comparison, and [Trump] seems to think that’s perfectly OK.”
Executive director of the Interfaith Alliance, Rabbi Jack Moline, agreed with Hooper, stating that Americans fought against what the Nazis were once doing.
“My father was in World War II, and he fought to preserve America against what the Nazis were doing. This is exactly why there is an America, to not be like that.”
Following a backlash from his comments, Trump took to Twitter himself on Friday, where he explained that his main objective is to secure the borders from terrorists, not to create a registry for Muslims.
I didn't suggest a database-a reporter did. We must defeat Islamic terrorism & have surveillance, including a watch list, to protect America— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2015
Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, attempted to clarify the confusion by adding that Trump was being questioned under “blaring music,” and that the presidential candidate’s remarks were about creating a terrorist watch list. Never once did Trump, according to Lewandowski, state that he wanted a registry for law-abiding Muslims.
Meanwhile, BBC News reports that Trump continues to lead in the polls as well as the set the stage for other fellow Republican presidential candidates to follow. The recent Paris tragedy that claimed 129 lives has helped further increase the mogul’s popularity.
Last week, Donald Trump made certain to drive his point home that securing the borders and preventing terrorist attacks should remain the top priority in America, something that he’s been passionate about well before the Paris attacks occurred, despite backlash and “taking a lot of heat” for it.
“I was tougher when it wasn’t very politically popular to be tough. And I took a lot of heat.”
[Photo Courtesy of Scott Olson/Getty Images]