From the New York Times.
Updated, 6:04 p.m. Donald J. Trump called on Monday for the United States to bar all Muslims from entering the country until the nation’s leaders can “figure out what is going on” after the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, Calif., an extraordinary escalation of rhetoric aimed at voters’ fears about members of the Islamic faith. [The writer is projecting. I don’t know anyone who has “fears about members of the Islamic faith.” 14 people are dead. Americans are very, very angry.]
A ban on Muslims – an unprecedented proposal by a leading American presidential candidate, and an idea more typically associated with hate groups and right-wing extremists – reflects a progression of mistrust that is rooted in ideology as much as politics. [This is a lie. Trump did not propose a “ban on Muslims.” He proposed an immediate end to Muslim immigration until we can figure out what is going on.] Mr. Trump, who in September declared “I love the Muslims,” turned sharply against them after the Paris terrorist attacks, calling for a database to track Muslims in America and repeating discredited rumors that thousands of Muslims celebrated in New Jersey on 9/11. [This author is quibbling. Many people recall seeing this at the time.] His poll numbers rose largely as a result, until a setback in Iowa on Monday morning. Hours later Mr. Trump called for the ban, fitting his pattern of making stunning comments when his lead in the Republican presidential field appears in jeopardy.
Echoing comments of Republicans and others who attend his huge campaign rallies, Mr. Trump said that “the hatred is beyond comprehension” among many Muslims for Americans.
“Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine,” Mr. Trump said. “Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”
Asked what prompted his statement, Mr. Trump said, “death,” according to a spokeswoman.
Among religious groups and politicians from both parties, the repudiation of Mr. Trump’s remarks was swift and severe. Mr. Trump is “unhinged,” said one Republican rival, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, while another, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, called the ban “a ridiculous proposition.” Hillary Clinton said the idea was “reprehensible, prejudiced and divisive.” Organizations representing Jews, Christians and those of other faiths quickly joined Muslims in denouncing Mr. Trump’s proposal. [All of those politicians promote Muslim immigration. Jewish, Christian, and other faith-based organizations profit from Muslim immigration because they are paid millions of dollars by the federal government to import Muslims. Click on that link. Incredible.]
“Rooting our nation’s immigration policy in religious bigotry and discrimination will not make America great again,” said Rabbi Jack Moline, executive director of Interfaith Alliance, putting a twist on Mr. Trump’s campaign slogan. [“Bullshit”, said ReactionaryThought, observing that Israel does not allow any Islamic immigration whatsoever. And why is a Rabbi advocating for Islamic immigration into the US?]
Mr. Trump made his remarks a day after President Obama delivered a national address from the Oval Office urging Americans not to turn against Muslims in the wake of the terrorist attacks. Mr. Trump is expected to say more at a rally at the USS Yorktown in South Carolina on Monday evening to mark the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Experts on immigration law and policy expressed shock at the proposal Monday afternoon.
“This is just so antithetical to the history of the United States,” said Nancy Morawetz [Morawetz?], a professor of clinical law at New York University School of Law, who specializes in immigration. “It’s unbelievable to have a religious test for admission into the country.”
She added: “I cannot recall any historical precedent for denying immigration based on religion.”
Putting the policy into practice would require an unlikely act of Congress, said Stephen Yale-Loehr [Loehr?], a professor of law at Cornell and a prominent authority on immigration.
Should Congress enact such a law, he predicted, the Supreme Court would invalidate such a restrictive immigration policy under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. [Wrong. The US Constitution does not apply to non-citizens not physically within the borders of the country.]
“It would certainly be challenged as unconstitutional,” he said. “And I predict the Supreme Court would strike it down.” [Depends on who the justices are.]
Mr. Trump has a track record of making surprising and even extreme comments whenever he is overtaken in opinion polls by other Republican candidates – as happened on Monday just hours before he issued his statement about Muslims. A new Monmouth University survey of likely Iowa Republican caucus-goers found that Mr. Trump had slipped from his recent top spot in the state, which holds the first presidential nomination contest on Feb. 1. According to the poll, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas earned 24 percent of support in the poll, while Mr. Trump had 19 percent and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida had 17 percent. But another Iowa poll released on Monday, by CNN/OCR, showed Mr. Trump with a comfortable lead but Mr. Cruz gaining ground on him. [What does this have to do with his statement on Muslim immigration? It will be interesting to see what happens to his popularity after his statement of Islamic immigration.]
Mr. Trump, who boasts about his strong poll numbers at the beginning of virtually every campaign speech, launched an unusually stinging attack against Ben Carson, another Republican candidate, when Mr. Carson took a lead in Iowa polls this fall; Mr. Trump, citing Mr. Carson’s memoir about his sometimes-violent youth, called him “pathological” and compared his state of mind to a child molester’s.
While several Republican presidential candidates have called for increased intelligence gathering and more aggressive investigations of suspected terrorists, as well as a halt to Muslim refugees entering the United States from Syria, Mr. Trump’s pointed suspicions about Muslims have been in a category by themselves.
At his campaign rallies, he has drawn strong applause from thousands of voters for his calls on the government to monitor mosques, and he has refused to rule out his earlier proposal to enter names of Muslims in America into a database. He has also made a series of ominous comments about President Obama’s leadership in fighting terrorism, suggesting that there was “something going on” with Mr. Obama that Americans were not aware of.
The proposal drew immediate condemnation from Muslim-Americans. Eboo Patel, the president of Interfaith Youth Core, based in Chicago, said, “I’m standing in a building right now where I am looking up at the Sears Tower, which was designed by Fazlur Rahman Khan,” a structural engineer originally from Bangladesh who was behind what is now known as the Willis Tower.
“What if we had barred Russians from America because of the Cold War? Who would have invented Google?” Mr. Patel asked, referring to Google’s co-founder, Sergey Brin. [False analogy: What if we barred Germans and Japanese from the US during WWII? We did.]
In his statement, Mr. Trump quoted a poll by the Center for Security Policy, whose president and founder, Frank Gaffney, has claimed that President Obama is aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood, an extremist political movement born in Egypt, and that agents of the Muslim Brotherhood have infiltrated the U.S. government, the Republican Party and conservative political organizations. [Mr. Gaffney is factually correct.]