Trump’s Muslim ban sparks international outrage

·Senior Writer
image

Donald Trump’s proposed Muslim ban has drawn international outrage. (Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP)

With Donald Trump doubling down on a proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, critics in the Middle East and Europe are calling on political and business leaders to reject him.

In Israel, politicians are urging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel a planned Dec. 28 meeting in Jerusalem with Trump, with at least one calling it a “slap in the face to Muslim citizens” there.

“It is embarrassing that Netanyahu is willing to legitimize Trump as a reasonable candidate who is worth a meeting with a head of state,” Meretz Chairwoman Zehava Gal-On told the Jerusalem Post. “Netanyahu’s willingness to meet with Trump despite his serious racist statements authorizes what the prime minister’s statements showed about him long ago: that there has never been such a racist, irresponsible prime minister.”

Late Wednesday, Netanyahu issued a statement rejecting Trump’s Muslim ban.

“Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens,” the statement read. “At the same time, Israel is fighting against militant Islam that targets Muslims, Christians and Jews alike and threatens the entire world.”

But the meeting — which was scheduled two weeks ago — will go ahead as planned.

Netanyahu said he has agreed “to meet with all presidential candidates from either party who visit Israel and ask for a meeting,” but such meetings do “not represent an endorsement of any candidate or his or her views.”

Meanwhile, members of the Israeli parliament — including those from Netanyahu’s Likud party — called for blocking Trump from the Knesset, though the Republican frontrunner is not scheduled to visit the assembly during his trip.

On Twitter, MK Ahmed Tibi called Trump a “neo-Nazi.”

“As far as it depends on me, this racist Donald Trump should not be welcome in the Knesset,” MK Omer Bar-Lev tweeted.

image

Trump’s image on a billboard at the Trump International Golf Club Dubai. (Photo: Karim Sahib/AFP)

In Dubai, Emirati business magnate Khalaf al-Habtoor, who in August proclaimed his support for Trump’s candidacy, blasted the GOP hopeful.

“If he comes to my office,” al-Habtoor told The Associated Press. “I will not let him in. I reject him.”

“It is unacceptable in my country,” al-Habtoor told the Financial Times. “Our system cannot accept an insult to our religion like this.”

But a Dubai developer who is partnering with Trump on the soon-to-be-completed Trump International Golf Club there said the candidate’s comments about Muslims won’t impact their business deal.

“We would like to stress that our agreement is with the Trump Organization as one of the premium golf course operators in the world,” Damac Properties senior vice president Niall McLoughlin in a statement. “And as such we would not comment further on Mr. Trump’s personal or political agenda, nor comment on the internal American political debate scene.”

In England, a petition calling to a bar Trump from entering the U.K. has received more than 200,000 signatures.

“The U.K. has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech,” the petition, posted Scottish resident Suzanne Kelly, reads. “The same principles should apply to everyone who wishes to enter the U.K.”

And Agence France-Presse reports that six members of the British parliament also signed a motion calling on the government “to refuse a visa allowing Donald Trump to visit the U.K. until Mr. Trump withdraws his comments.”

But U.K. chancellor George Osborne told reporters Wednesday that “the best way to defeat nonsense like this is to engage in robust and democratic debate” — and not by banning him.

Trump’s controversial plan, which was released Monday, calls for a “total and complete shutdown” of all Muslims entering the country in response to the recent terror attacks in San Bernardino, Calif., and Paris.

“Something has to be done,” Trump said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Tuesday. “What I’m doing is I’m calling very simply for a shutdown of Muslims entering the United States … until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

Speaking in Paris, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry condemned Trump’s proposal.

“As I travel around the world, it is clear to me and how both our friends and our adversaries watch and listen to the discourse in the U.S.,” Kerry said. “And I believe that comments such as those that we just heard are not constructive.

“That is not America,” Kerry continued. “We have a policy of nondiscrimination and a policy of religious tolerance. And, frankly, what Mr. Trump has said runs contrary to all that and makes our job of reaching out to people and sharing the real America that much more complicated and that much more difficult. And that’s about as diplomatic as I can put it.”