Donald Trump says his strategy for fighting ISIS might include closing some mosques within the United States.
In an interview on Fox Business, host Stuart Varney asked Trump whether, if elected president, he would follow the anti-ISIS lead of the British government, which has revoked the passports of people who traveled to fight alongside extremists, and has planned to close mosques that are “used to host extremist meetings or speakers.”
“I would do that, absolutely, I think it’s great,” Trump responded. Varney pressed Trump on whether he even could close a mosque, citing religious freedom as a possible roadblock.
“Well I don’t know,” Trump conceded. “I mean, I haven’t heard about the closing of the mosque. It depends, if the mosque is, you know, loaded for bear, I don’t know. You’re going to have to certainly look at it.”
Update, 10/21/2015, 11:10 p.m. EST: On Wednesday evening, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued a press release officially condemning Donald Trump’s suggestion that he would close down certain mosques within the US. CAIR’s Government Affairs Department Manager Robert McCaw explained that Trump’s stance is actually antithetical to American values.
“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 principles of religious freedom,” McCaw said. “The government should not be in the business of deciding what is acceptable free speech or religious belief. Donald Trump’s off-the-cuff remarks are both un-American, and un-presidential.”