In yet another round of controversial remarks, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has said he thinks “Islam hates us” and asserted that those having hatred against the US cannot be allowed to enter the country.
“I think Islam hates us,” Trump told CNN, deploring the “tremendous hatred” that he said partly defined the religion.
Donald Trump, 69, maintained that the war was against radical Islam, but said, “it’s very hard to define. It’s very hard to separate. Because you don’t know who’s who.”
“You’re gonna have to figure that out, OK?” he said when asked if there was hatred in the religion itself.
“We have to be very vigilant. We have to be very careful. And we can’t allow people coming into this country who have this hatred of the United States,” Trump said.
Later then he refused at a Republican debate in Miami on Thursday to back off his assertion that “Islam hates us”, saying amending his words would be surrendering to political correctness.
“Did you mean all 1.6 billion Muslims?” a bewildered Jake Tapper asked him.
“I mean a lot of them. I mean a lot of them,” Trump repeated, refusing to back down.
Marco Rubio, who hopes to win his home state of Florida next Tuesday and remain in the race, quickly hit back on Trump’s answer.
“I know that’s a lot of people find appeal in the things Donald says. The problem is, presidents can’t just say anything they want. It has consequences here and around the world.”
He then relayed a narrative about a family of Christian missionaries he knew in Bangladesh, a predominantly-Muslim country, and that Trump’s words had consequences.
“They tell me today they have a hostile environment because the news is coming out that in America leading political figures are saying that America doesn’t like Muslims. This is a real impact.”
“Marco talks about consequences,” Trump retorted.
“Well, we’ve had a lot of consequences, including airplanes flying into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and could have been the White House.”
Trump, meanwhile, when asked why he wanted to expand intelligence laws in order to target the families of people suspected of terrorism, ratcheted up his rhetoric just as far as it could go.
“We have a law that doesn’t allow right now waterboarding. [ISIS] have no laws, no rules, no regulations. They chop off heads, They drown 40, 50, 60 people at a time in big steel cages, pull them up an hour later, everyone dead, and we’re working on a different set of parameters,” Trump said, his calm, presidential demeanor slipping away.
“We better expand our laws or we’re being a bunch of suckers and they are laughing at us.”