A petition calling for a ban on Trump entering the UK has gathered enough signatures for the move to be considered for Parliament debate
British Prime Minister David Cameron calls Trump's comments "divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong"
Geert Wilders, the founder of the Party for Freedom, a Dutch far-right party, supports Trump
Donald Trump has alienated various groups during the course of his presidential run, but his latest call to ban all Muslims from entering the United States may have been the most divisive yet.
A petition calling for MPs to ban Trump from entering the UK has gathered over 100,000 signatures – the number required for the move to be considered for debate in Parliament.
It reads: “If the United Kingdom is to continue applying the ‘unacceptable behaviour’ criteria to those who wish to enter its borders, it must be fairly applied to the rich as well as poor, and the weak as well as powerful.”
The Internet indignation hasn’t stopped there. Twitter users went from feeling outraged to overjoyed in the space of a day as rumors of a celebration – #TrumpIsDisqualifiedParty – started to fly. This quickly turned to disappointment as the report was debunked.
Prominent figures have also aired their views.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls railed against the property mogul’s remarks, saying: “Mr. Trump, like others, feeds the hatred and the confusion: our ONLY enemy is radical Islamism.”
British prime ministers don’t usually comment on U.S. presidential candidates, but in a rare move David Cameron gave his view through a spokesman who said: “The Prime Minister completely disagrees with the comments made by Donald Trump which are divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong.”
Meanwhile, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders joined the chorus of disapproving voices during a news conference Tuesday.
And London Mayor Boris Johnson slammed Trump’s remarks on MSNBC on Tuesday that parts of the British capital are so radicalized, police fear for their lives. “Donald Trump’s ill-informed comments are complete and utter nonsense,” he said. Johnson finished by adding: “The only reason I wouldn’t go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump.”
Even London’s impartial Metropolitan Police weighed in, inviting the Republican presidential front-runner to a briefing “on the reality of policing London,” they said in a statement.
Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton says she thinks her opposition is missing the point.
Some leaders, however, gave Trump a virtual pat on the back, such as Geert Wilders, the founder of the Party for Freedom, a Dutch far-right party.
Thoughts from the Muslim community
Libyan-American commentator Hend Amry compared the Republican presidential candidate to a, um, buttery pastry.
Meanwhile Middle East political and cultural blogger Karl Sharro suggested that Trump should be the absolute ruler of his realm.
Egypt’s top religious authority called Trump’s statements “racist” and “extremist.” The Dar Al-Iftaa said in a statement: “This hostile view of Islam and Muslims will increase the tension within the American society, of which 8 million are Muslim. They are active and integrated members of the American society.”
Celebrities speak out
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling thinks Trump is worse than He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
British television personality Piers Morgan, usually a friend and supporter of the Republican candidate, waded into the debate.
And Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef, hailed as the “Jon Stewart of Egypt,” told his 5.8 million Twitter followers that he had decided to take the issue up with Trump himself.
Members of the media have said enough is enough. The Huffington Post’s co-founder and editor-in-chief, Arianna Huffington, said she will no longer be covering Trump’s campaign in the website’s entertainment section.
“If Trump’s words and actions are racist, we’ll call them racist. If they’re sexist, we’ll call them sexist. We won’t shrink from the truth or be distracted by the showmanship,” she said.
And columnist Chemi Shalev wrote in Israeli newspaper Haaretz that Trump may have unintentionally sided with the ISIS leader: “Trump’s anti-Muslim outrage makes him (Abu Bakr) al-Baghdadi’s useful idiot,” shouts the headline.
On a far more serious note
UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said the remarks are a blow to the work of the refugee agency. “What (Trump) was speaking of was an entire population but this also impacts the refugee program. Because our refugee program is religion-blind. Our resettlement program selects the people who are the most in need.”
The editor of the British political magazine The Spectator suggested that Trump’s comments might not apply to every single Muslim he has met.