In a recent interview with Yahoo News, Trump was asked if he would want to increase surveillance and tracking of American Muslims.
“We’re going to have to do things that we never did before,” he said. “And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule. And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy. And so we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”
Yahoo also asked Trump if he would require registering Muslims in a database or give them identification cards. Trump did not rule it out.
“We’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely,” he responded. “We’re going to have to look at the mosques. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully.”
When pressed for information by an NBC News reporter, he said he would definitely implement a database for Muslims.
Fox News had interviewed Trump a few days earlier. They asked him if he would follow a new British proposal for countering extremism that includes revoking the passports of people who travel to fight with ISIS and shuttering mosques that support extremism.
“I would do that, absolutely,” said Trump, “I think it’s great.”
While in Iowa, Trump was asked by an NBC News reporter for clarification. He was asked “Should there be a database system that tracks Muslims of this country?”
“There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases. We should have a lot of systems. And today, you can do it. But right now we have to have a border, we have to have strength, we have to have a wall and we cannot let what’s happening to this country happening.”
The NBC reporter followed up, “Is that something your White House would like to do?”
Trump responded, “I would certainly implement that. Absolutely.”
When pressed on whether it would be legal to do so in light of religious freedom, Trump slightly backed off.
“Well, I don’t know,” he said. “I mean, I haven’t heard about the closing of the mosque. It depends, if the mosque is, you know, loaded for bear, I don’t know. You’re going to have to certainly look at it.”
Rachel Maddow of MSNBC said, “The idea of the federal government creating a registry of a religious minority, requiring Americans to enter some kind of federal database, is as disgusting an idea as has been offered by any major-party presidential candidate in generations. This is not politics as usual. It’s far, far worse – and it is terrifying.
Religious freedom is front and center in light of Islamic extremism. Many Americans want a strong leader. When someone as strong as Donald Trump comes along and offers to fix the problems, his message resonates with a lot of people. Trump is the front-runner in the GOP (Republican) presidential candidate by a long margin. In the minds of many people, we may have come to a point that is parallel to pre-war Germany.
The United States “shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government.” Testimonies for the Church, Vol 5, page 451.
Under such a president, would America’s legislative bodies be able to resist the demands of its people to remove religious freedoms for Muslims, or for others? Would they be able to resist demands for a Sunday law? Could it be that registering Muslims could precipitate registering other religious groups?