Trump Slammed as 'Un-American' for Suggestion to Shut Down Mosques

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to attend the Jimmy Fallon show in the Manhattan borough of New York, September 11, 2015.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to attend the Jimmy Fallon show in the Manhattan borough of New York, September 11, 2015. | (Photo: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he would shut down U.S. mosques he deems extremist in order to fight the Islamic State terror group.

Trump's comments have been condemned by the The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which said that they are "un-American" and fly against freedom of religion.

Trump told Fox Business' Stuart Varney in a Wednesday segment on Wednesday that is willing to follow the example set by other countries, such as the U.K., who have closed down certain terror-linked mosques and revoked passports in order to combat the threat of Islamic terrorism.

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"I would do that, absolutely, I think it's great," Trump said. "If you go out, you go fight for ISIS, you can't come back. Why can't you do it? You can do it here."

Varney then asked: "Can you close a mosque? I mean, we do have religious freedom."

Trump replied: "Well I don't know. 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."

The billionaire businessman continued: "But I can tell you one thing, if somebody goes over and they want to fight for ISIS, they wouldn't be coming back."

CAIR, which describes itself as America's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, said that Trump's suggestions are unacceptable.

"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 principle of religious freedom," said CAIR Government Affairs Department Manager Robert McCaw.

"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."

In September, fellow Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson also drew outrage from members of the Muslim community after he said that a Muslim man or woman who abides by Islamic law should not be elected president of the United States.

"I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that," the retired neurosurgeon said in an interview.

"If it's inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter," he added.

Other GOP candidates, such as Sen. Ted Cruz, reminded Carson, however, that the U.S. Constitution says there is no religious test for public office.

"You know, the Constitution specifies there shall be no religious test for public office and I am a constitutionalist," Cruz said.

A spokesman for Carson later clarified that the retired neurosurgeon "has great respect for the Muslim community, but there is a huge gulf between the faith and practice of the Muslim faith, and our Constitution and American values."

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