Donald Trump has sparked outrage after he called for a “total and complete” ban on Muslims entering the US.
Trump is leading the poll, to be the Republican Party’s presidential candidate.
He called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the US, until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on”.
Trump has garnered a lot of criticism both from the public, and from some prominent Republicans, including his opponents Jeb Bush, who called Trump “unhinged”, and John Kasich, who said his statement was “just more of the outrageous divisiveness that characterises his every breath”. Lindsey Graham, also running for Republican presidential candidate, has said his remarks were “outright dangerous”.
Bush, Kasich and Graham, share low ratings in the polls, with Bush, the highest ranked of the three, garnering less than 4% in the latest. Republican candidates ranking higher have responded weakly, a fact probably to do with Trump getting a boost in the polls as a result of his demagogic remarks.
They take place in a context of heightened security, xenophobia, and anti-Muslim racism, following the attacks in Paris, and an attack by a Muslim couple in San Bernardino, in which they killed 14 people. Trump also said, “there is a great hatred toward Americans by large segments of the Muslim population”.
We must argue against terrorist attacks being used to justify reactionary, anti-immigrant rhetoric, or heightened surveillance by the state. This applies, currently, to the state of emergency and raids in France, as well as statements like Trump’s from the political establishment in the US.
He stated his prejudice particularly boldly, but his remarks hold up a mirror, also, to the attitudes held by many in Britain, to the headlines on the front of some of our mainstream newspapers, and “war on terror” policies coming from government.