The presumptive Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump, weighed profiling Muslims as a strategy to combat terrorism in the United States Sunday.
During an interview with John Dickerson on Face the Nation, Trump alluded to the policy as a “common sense” measure for national security. This is not the first time the Republican has suggested profiling Muslims.
“Well, I think profiling is something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country,” said Trump during the interview.
“And other countries do it; you look at Israel and you look at others and they do it and they do it successfully. You know, I hate the concept of profiling. But we have to start using common sense, and we have to use, you know, we have to use our heads… we really have to look at profiling. We have to look at it seriously. “
The Washington Post carried details of the interview which at one point feature Trump weighing the option of profiling people based on ethnicity for the sake of safety at his rallies.
“People that obviously had no guns, no weapons, didn’t know anything and they were going through screening and they were going through the same, the same, you know, scrutiny. The absolute same scrutiny as somebody else that looked like it could have been a possible person. So we really have to look at profiling.”
Security at Trump’s campaign rallies has been a concern for months, as many have turned violent. In a campaign season that has seen several rallies for main Democratic and Republican candidates disrupted by protest, it has been Trump supporters who have gained notoriety for their violent response to protesters in their midst.
Prominent features of Donald Trump’s campaign platform have been controversial for their acute racial and ethnic components. Ideas like building a wall along the border of Mexico and the United States have not won Trump a lot of support from the Republican establishment, but among his other controversial statements are those which concern Muslims.
In December, Trump proposed a “total and complete” ban on Muslims entering the United States. This comment coming in the wake of anti-Muslim sentiment after the November, 2015, terror attacks in Paris for which ISIS claimed responsibility.
While Trump had appeared to back away from such stances since clinching enough delegates to be the Republican nominee, stake-raising comments since last week’s Pulse night club massacre of LGBTQIA patrons in Orlando have fellow Republicans taking a firmer stance.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), who reluctantly endorsed Trump in May, said that the House of Representatives was prepared to sue a president who engages in executive overreach. Ryan spoke in direct reference to Trump’s talk of a ban on Muslim immigration.
Since the Orlando attack, Trump has come out swinging against Muslims, appearing now to be doubling-down on his rhetoric from December with tough talk in favor of profiling. He used both the shootings in Orlando and San Bernardino to validate his position, also adding that political correctness is preventing the government and local agencies from doing their jobs.
Interviewed by CNN, Attorney General Loretta Lynch clarified in an interview with Dana Bash that profiling was not an effective means to approach security.
Profiling, the Attorney General cautioned, compromises the relationship between investigators and elements of the Muslim-American community. She stressed that equal protection of all Americans in times of heated rhetoric is crucial to maintaining the trust between investigative agencies and community members who may know about potential violent acts.
“It is very important for us to maintain our contacts within the Muslim community, because often individuals, if they’re from that community and they’re being radicalized, their friends and family members will see it first. They will see that activity first, and we want that information to come to us… Also those communities are targeted as well, they are often swept up in this. So we want to make sure that every community in the United States knows that they are under our protection.”
[Photo by Ross D. Franklin/AP Images]