George Soros
Billionaire George Soros, 85, is famous for speculating against the pound in the early 1990s Reuters

George Soros has criticised US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's call to ban Muslims from entering America. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the billionaire said the anti-Muslim rhetoric of Trump and others in the Republican presidential field was turning the Islamic community into a "breeding ground for Isis".

Trump, who continues to lead Republican polls despite having no political experience, caused controversy by calling for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US after a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California in December. The terrorist attack, carried out by a radicalised Muslim couple, left 14 people dead – making it the deadliest on US soil since 9/11.

"By fear mongering, [Trump] and [Ted] Cruz are doing the work of Isis," Soros, 85, told Bloomberg TV on 21 January. "They want people to turn against the Muslim community and make the Muslim community think there is no alternative to terrorism. It turns the Muslim community into a breeding ground for Isis."

Clinton backing

Soros, the world's richest hedge fund manager, is famous for betting against the pound during the 1992 Black Wednesday currency crisis, contributing to its exit from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. He is a well-known backer of liberal policies and is a major donor to the Democratic party.

With a little over a week to go before the Iowa caucus, Soros said he expected Democrat Hillary Clinton to become the next US president with a decisive election victory in 2016.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump continues to lead Republican polls despite having no political experience Reuters

"[Trump] may have the role of king-maker... he will get quite a few votes," Soros observed. "[But] I do think [Clinton] is the one who is most qualified. But that is my bias."

Soros also commented on the refugee crisis gripping the European Union, likening it to "a cinema on fire without exit signs".

The UN refugee agency says more than one million people crossed the Mediterranean into Europe in 2015 from the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere.

"The EU is in an existential crisis as a result of migration. The EU is falling apart," Soros stated. "We have reached a tipping point where the influx reduces the capacity of receiving countries to assimilate or integrate the refugees and we have a panic."