Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump says the United States should “strongly consider” shutting some mosques on the pretext of preventing terrorist operations in the country in the wake of the deadly Paris attacks .
“I would hate to do it, but it’s something that you’re going to have to strongly consider,” Trump told cable broadcaster MSNBC Monday.
He also said the government should increase surveillance in and around mosques.
“We have to be much tougher,” he said. “We are going to have to give up certain privileges that we’ve always had.”
He made the remarks after French Prime Minister Manuel Valls made similar remarks about the Muslims’ place of worship.
Trump, on the other hand, closing mosques would bring about a “very, very sad situation” as it promotes hatred against Muslims but, he concluded, there is already “hatred greater than anybody understands.”
“I know so many people, Muslims, who are such unbelievably great people and they are being so badly tarnished by what’s happening now. It’s a shame,” claimed the real estate mogul.
Trump, who leads the race for the 2016 Republican nomination, pointed to the “great surveillance” that previous New York administrations had conducted on Muslim places of worship, particularly after the attacks of September 11, 2001, and suggested such monitoring should be resumed.
Trump’s Republican rivals for the most part have not openly recommended mosque closures but in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, many in his party have come out against any entry of Syrian refugees into the United States.