By DOYIN YUSUF
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has called for “total and complete” ban to Muslims entering the US, in the wake of the deadly California shootings.
In a campaign statement, he said a “total and complete” shutdown should remain until the US authorities “can figure out” Muslim attitudes to the US.
Criticism from the White House and other Republicans was swift.
Mr Trump’s comments were contrary to US values and its national security interests, a statement from the White House said.
His statement was delivered as the US comes to terms with its deadliest terror attack since 9/11, Last week a Muslim couple, believed to have been radicalised, opened fire and killed 14 people at a health centre in San Bernardino.
At an evening rally in South Carolina, Trump supporters cheered and shouted in support as he read his statement. Trump warned during his speech that without drastic action, the threat of attacks is “going to get worse and worse.”
“As he says, we have to find out who they are and why they are here,” Rod Weader, a 68-year-old real estate agent from North Charleston who attended the rally and said he agreed with Trump’s plan “150 percent.” ”Like he said, they are going to kill us and we’ve got to stop it.”
“We have no idea who is coming into our country, no idea if they like us or hate us,” Trump told supporters in S.C. “I wrote something today that is very salient…and probably not very politically correct. But I don’t care.”
Trump added that his proposal is “common sense” and “we have no choice”. He warned the crowd that “we can be politically correct and stupid but it’s going to get worse and worse.”
The proposed ban would stand “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” his campaign said in a statement earlier Monday.
The statement added that Trump’s proposal comes in response to the level of hatred among “large segments of the Muslim population” toward Americans.