Donald Trump said recently that if he were to become president, he would consider closing mosques in the United States in order to fight the Islamic State (ISIS).
During an Oct. 20 interview with Fox Business, Stuart Varneyasked Trump about a series of measures in England used to target extremist groups, Mediate reports.
“They’ve got a whole new series of proposals to deal with this,” Varney said. “Including withdrawal of passports from some of these people who’ve gone over just to fight … ”
“Absolutely,” Trump interrupted. “Good, good.”
“And closing some mosques,” Varney added. “Would you do the same thing in America?”
“I would do that,” Trump said. “Absolutely, I think it’s great. I know they have a lot of proposals over there. If you go out and go fight for ISIS, you can't come back. Why can't you do it? You can do it here."
Varney then questioned if it would even be possible to close a mosque in the United States.
“We do have religious freedom,” he said.
“Well, I don’t know,” Trump said. “I mean, I haven’t heard about the closing of the mosque. It depends, if the mosque is, you know, is loaded for bear, I don’t know, you’re going to have to certainly look at it.”
Republican Rep. Peter King of New York, who sits on the House Homeland Security Committee, spoke to Fox News the next day and said Trump’s comments to Varney went too far.
After playing an excerpt from Trump’s interview, Martha McCallum asked King what he thought.
“Again, I think Donald Trump is talking before he knows what he’s talking about.” King said. “Listen, I have been very critical of people in the Muslim community, but the fact is you can’t be going around shutting down mosques.”
King added that he thinks there should be surveillance of mosques and they should be monitored for “activity.” And should a mosque be found to be holding weapons, “then, yes, we can take action,” he said.