30 May 2017

More officials react to Donald Trump's anti-Islam remarks

KONFRONTASI - White House spokesman Josh Earnest says GOP front runner Donald Trump’s proposal on barring Muslims from entry into US “disqualifies” him from presidency.

“What Donald Trump said yesterday disqualifies him from serving as president,” Earnest said on Tuesday.“What Mr. Trump said is deeply offensive... It’s morally reprehensible. It runs counter to the US Constitution.”

Trump’s remarks on Monday ignited a political firestorm, making Earnest demand that GOP candidates adopt a clear stance on Trump’s proposal and “say right now that they will not support Donald Trump for president.”

He also likened Trump’s campaign to a “dust bin of history,” asking whether other Republicans would like to join it.

Earnest (seen above) also compared the real estate mogul to a “carnival barker” who has “fake hair,” about which Trump himself has repeatedly talked on US media, claiming it is real.

US House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, a Republican, also slammed Trump, stressing what he said is “not what this party stands for.”

“This is not conservatism,” he said at the House Republican leadership’s weekly news conference. “What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for and, more importantly, it’s not what this country stands for.”

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) leaves a news briefing with members of the House GOP leadership following the weekly Republican Conference meeting at the Republican National Committee headquarters on Capitol Hill December 8, 2015 in Washington, DC. (AFP)

Ryan, who has adopted a policy not to comment on the presidential race, made the remarks as “an exception.” 

“Some of our best and biggest allies in this struggle and fight against radical Islamic terror are Muslims," said Ryan, who has been at the helm in the Republican-weighted House for less than two months.

Trump’s comments also run counter to US President Barack Obama’s Sunday night plea to the nation on not to succumb to Islamophobia in response to terrorism.

"We cannot turn against one another by letting this fight be defined as a war between America and Islam," Obama said in a rare televised address from the Oval Office. "If we’re to succeed in defeating terrorism we must enlist Muslim communities as some of our strongest allies, rather than push them away through suspicion and hate."

Global reaction

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also joined the chorus of criticism against Trump’s anti-Islam comments.

Ban slammed "any kind of rhetoric that relies on Islamophobia, xenophobia, (and) any other appeal to hate any groups", said his spokesman, Farhan Haq.

Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said he completely disagrees with Trump’s stance, describing it as “divisive, unhelpful, and quite simply wrong."

Does Trump care?

The Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan is seen on December 8, 2015 in New York City. (AFP)

In response to his critics, Trump defended his proposal on Tuesday, saying, “I don’t care.”

He added that what he is proposing is "no different" than President Franklin Roosevelt "who was highly respected by all" despite his wartime measures.

He also threatened to depart the GOP and run as an independent following a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll that showed 68% of his supporters back him even if he does so. 

Apart from Muslims, Trump is also unpopular among US Latinos and African Americans over racist remarks.[PTV]

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