Comments by Donald Trump are once again making waves.
The Republican presidential candidate’s campaign sent out a statement Monday, calling for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
Trump proposing a ban on Muslims from traveling to the U.S. sparked an almost immediate backlash from Democrats as well as those within his own party.
Adam Soltani, the executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he was “absolutely appalled.”
“This is un-American,” Soltani said. “This is unconstitutional. This is going far beyond mere hate rhetoric to him encouraging policies that are absolutely not what we need as a country.”
“We should embrace our diversity,” Soltani added. “We should embrace all faiths and all ethnicities, and we should not marginalize Muslims in our own country by making such statements or proposing policies such as what [Trump] has proposed today.”
Trump said he made his controversial call to prevent Muslim immigration based on polling. He said in the release that “the Center for Security Policy released data showing ‘25% of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United is justified as a part of the global jihad.'”
Soltani, however, argued that Trump’s claims are not based in fact.
“I can tell you on behalf of all the Muslims in Oklahoma, we love our state,” Soltani said. “We love our country, and we’re proud of both being American and being Muslim and even further proud of the religious freedoms that our country and our constitution provide for us.”
The proposal sparked a heated debate online, where dozens shared their criticisms as well as support.
Ralph Hughes wrote on the KJRH Facebook page, “Trump is tight to put the well-being of the country ahead of the well-being of foreigners.”
Jeff Powell agreed, posting, “Shut it down until it’s fixed.”
Two voters in Tulsa, however, disagreed with Trump’s idea.
“The constitution allows us to practice whatever religion we choose,”Matt F. Mitchell said. “Whether they’re Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, it honestly doesn’t matter to me.”
“It’s just not right to say, ‘Oh, you’re this, so we’re going to kick you out. You not allowed here,'” Caler Toothman said. “That’s wrong.”
It’s unclear if this will affect Trump’s standing in the polls. The latest Sooner Poll shows him leading in Oklahoma with 27 percent of state Republicans saying they would vote for him.