Donald Trump has a solution to the problem of Islamist terrorism: Register all American Muslims in a database in order to track and manage them.
Trump, who has mostly led the Republican presidential race since July, first brought up the possibility of the idea earlier this week, but did not commit to the idea of tracking all U.S. Muslims. On Thursday, he said he “would certainly implement that—absolutely,” according to NBC News.
“There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases,” he said. “We should have a lot of systems.”
Trump, a multibillionaire who earned his money in the real estate business he started with a $1 million loan from his father, has not explained the specifics of his plan. He’s offered no technical details on how the database would be constructed, what the punishment would be for not registering, and how the database—which would contain intimate and personal details on millions of peoples’ religious beliefs and history—would be protected from cyberattacks.
Trump’s ideas have drawn repeated and sustained comparisons to the tracking of Jews by Nazi Germany in the early 20th century. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is leading the Democratic presidential race, called Trump’s rhetoric “shocking.”
This is shocking rhetoric. It should be denounced by all seeking to lead this country. -H https://t.co/qs2TJI5spu
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 20, 2015
The idea of a Muslim database is being offered at a time when rhetoric against Muslims is ramping up. In the wake of the deadly Paris terror attacks, as well as the stream of millions of refugees fleeing war in Syria and Iraq, many in American politics are putting up a stop sign.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joined a chorus of conservative voices in suggesting a mandatory religious tests for incoming Syrian refugees. The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday voted to limit refugees. And most American governors argue against accepting Syrian refugees.
The fight is on in Washington, as President Barack Obama vowed to accept 10,000 refugees in the next year despite widespread political pressure.
Illustration by Tiffany Pai