Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said Sunday that political correctness cannot be applied when dealing with terrorism, saying he is not stoking fear about Muslims but is fighting for what needs to be done to defeat the Islamic State.
“I’m not playing on fears. I’m playing on common sense. We have a problem,” Mr. Trump said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “The World Trade Center came down.”
Mr. Trump defended his position supporting the surveillance of mosques, arguing that profiling Muslims could prevent terrorist attacks such as Wednesday’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, and that “everybody seems to agree with me.”
“We are having a problem with the radicals in the Muslim group. Let’s not kid ourselves. You can say it, or you don’t have to say it,” the flamboyant businessman said. “But I’ve been saying it loud and strong. So if you have people coming out of mosques with hatred and with death in their eyes and on their minds, we’re going to have to do something.”
He defended his views as not calling for tracking only Muslims in the U.S., saying “you have people that need to be tracked. If they’re Muslims, they’re Muslims. But you have people that have to be tracked.”
Mr. Trump also blasted Obama administration officials for their unwillingness to say the words “radical Islam” when talking about terrorism, saying the problem cannot be solved until it is addressed.
“We have a tremendous problem with radical Islamic terrorism,” he said. “I mean, you can say it, or you don’t have to say it. And we have a president that won’t issue the term. He won’t talk about it.”
Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday that the problem in saying that the U.S. is fighting “radical Islam” is that it “helps to create this clash of civilizations that is actually a recruiting tool for ISIS and other radical jihadists who use this as a way of saying, ‘We’re in a war against the West. If you’re a Muslim, you must join us,’” Mrs. Clinton said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“No, if you’re a law-abiding, peace-loving Muslim, you need to be with us against those who are distorting Islam,” she said.
Mr. Trump pushed his idea that the U.S. should pursue not only jihadists but also their families — an idea that Democratic candidates have said sounds like advocacy for war crimes. The real estate mogul said he does not believe the sister of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, who told authorities she did not know her brother would be involved in a mass shooting.
“They say they don’t mind dying. I think they do mind dying,” Mr. Trump said of terrorists. “But I can tell you this. They want their families left alone.”
• Anjali Shastry can be reached at email@example.com.
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