Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump will not rule out having to creating a national database of Muslims in the US or making Muslim Americans carry a special form of identification. In an interview days after the attacks in Paris and amid mounting opposition to Syrian refugees in the US, Trump appears set to promote and execute Nazi-level oversight over Muslims in the country.
"We're going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule," the candidate told Yahoo News. "And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy. And so we're going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago."
Trump has never shied away from making controversial comments regarding refugees or undocumented immigrants and has used the deadly terrorist attacks in France to push for closer monitoring of Muslims. "We're going to have to—we're going to have to look at a lot of things very closely," he said after being asked about a database or special IDs. "We're going to have to look at the mosques. We're going to have to look very, very carefully."
The candidate's comments have been met by swift condemnation from various religious and political groups. In a statement released by Bend the Arc Jewish Action, CEO Stosh Cotler said any plan to register a religion to a database has been seen before and it will not "end well".
"There is no way American Jews will ever find it acceptable for anyone—anyone—to be registered, singled out, profiled, discriminated against, or in any way mistreated by the government on the basis of their religion in this country. Mr Trump's suggestion is as terrifying as it is abhorrent," Cotler said. "This runs counter to everything we believe in as Americans and Jews and we will not stand idly by as fear and bigotry are used to dominate our politics."
Meanwhile, the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Trump was "contributing to an already toxic environment". CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw added, "Such extremist rhetoric is unbecoming of anyone who seeks our nation's highest office and must be strongly repudiated by leaders across the political spectrum."
However, Trump's comments come as politicians from both sides of the aisle work towards making it more difficult for Syrian and Iraqi refugees to settle in the US. On 19 November, the House of Representatives approved the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act by 289-137.
President Obama has already threatened to use executive powers to veto the bill,which would make it even more difficult for Syrian and Iraqi refugees to enter the US. The vetting process for refugees in the US averages about 18 months to complete. The bill will now head to the Senate for approval before heading to the White House.