U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump is up in arms against Muslims whom he claimed were “absolutely not reporting” suspected attackers.
Trump made his comment in an interview with British television following the Brussels attacks.
“I would say this to the Muslims, and in the United States also, when they see trouble they have to report it,” Trump told ITV television, a day after triple blasts killed some 30 people at Brussels airport and on the city’s metro system.
“They’re not reporting it, they’re absolutely not reporting it and that’s a big problem,” said Trump, who is the Republican Party Presidential candidate front-runner for the U.S. presidential election on November 8.
“It’s like they are protecting each other but they are really doing very bad damage… They have to open up to society, they have to report the bad ones,” he told interviewer Piers Morgan.
Trump’s comments since then have been stoutly rejected by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), which represents hundreds of mosques and charities, and by one of Britain’s top counter-terrorism officers, Neil Basu.
“He is wrong,” Basu, a deputy assistant commissioner at London’s Metropolitan Police, told BBC Radio.
“If we demonize one section of the community that is the worst thing we can do. We are absolutely playing into the terrorists’ hands of making people feel hate,” he said.
Miqdaad Versi, the MCB’s assistant secretary-general, said Trump’s comments “fuel this idea of bigotry”.
They “really fuel the thing that terrorists themselves want — that Muslims are apart from the West and cannot be seen as equal citizens,” he said.
Trump has drawn controversy before by calling for Muslims to be barred from entering the United States following a deadly shooting attack in San Bernardino, California in December.
Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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