In a scenario reminiscent of the forced registration of Jews in Nazi Germany, Donald Trump has proposed a mandatory database of all Muslims in America.
As part of his immigration policy, Donald Trump announced Thursday his plans for a database of all Muslims in the U.S., including Americans. He said Muslims would be signed up “at different places,” and that registration for the database would be legally required. The comments came after attacks in Paris by the Islamic State last week that killed at least 129 people. The U.S. is planning to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees.
When repeatedly asked how his database differs from forced registration of Jews in Nazi Germany, Trump replied four time, “You tell me.”
Trump has advocated increased surveillance activities, including inside mosques, and said earlier this week that there was going to be no choice but for the U.S. to close specific mosques. He said that “really bad things” are “happening fast.”
The Muslim database plans were announced in an interview with Yahoo News. Trump also mentioned the idea of giving out special identification cards to people of Muslim faith which would note their religion. He also suggested considering warrantless searches.
When asked on Thursday night to explain his comments, Trump said that his remarks had been misconstrued.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement yesterday condemning the Republican presidential candidate for what it describes as “Islamophobic and unconstitutional” comments that target Syrian refugees and American Muslims. Spokesman Ibrahim Hooper told NBC News that the group was “kind of at a loss for words.”
Friday morning Trump’s rival presidential candidate Jeb Bush said the millionaire mogul’s comments were “just wrong.” Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton took to Twitter, posting “This is shocking rhetoric. It should be denounced by all seeking to lead this country.”
Hooper asked what else Trump’s proposal could be compared with, other than Nazi German. He said Trump “seems to think that’s perfectly okay.”
Others chimed in saying that the U.S. fought in World War II to preserve America against what the Nazis were doing. Rabbi Jack Moline, who is executive director of the Interfaith Alliance nonprofit group, also made that comparison, saying “This is exactly why there is an America, to not be like that.”
Trump ignored the question of whether there would be consequences for Muslims who do not register themselves into the database. He explained his reasoning for the need of the database with the need to identify who is legally in the country, saying “It would stop people from coming in illegally.”