Trump calls for 'complete shutdown' on Muslims entering U.S

HOUSTON – The latest proposal by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is drawing sharp criticism across the country and here in Houston. At a rally in South Carolina, Trump called for a complete ban of all Muslim immigrants trying to enter the country.

Reading from a written letter, Trump said: "Donald J. Trump is calling for a complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on. We have no choice," he read, receiving cheers and applause. "We have no choice."

It's not the first time the GOP front-runner has offended with his blunt talk on the campaign trail, but the proposal was quickly condemned by Islamic advocates.

"Donald Trump sounds more like a leader of a lynch mob than a great nation like ours," said Nihad Awad, founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "He and others are playing into the hands of ISIS. This is exactly what ISIS wants from Americans, to turn against each other."

Trump's comments are among the sharpest responses in the wake of last week's terror attack in San Bernardino in which a radicalized Muslim couple killed 14 people. The proposal also comes after terrorist assaults in Paris, Mali and other parts of the world and follow President Barack Obama's address to the nation Sunday.  In it, the president called for no religious tests for immigrants entering the U.S.

Mustafaa Carroll is the executive director of the Texas branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations based in Houston.  Carroll calls Trump's latest statements reckless and divisive.

"We're at a point in our history where we need someone to bring our country together," Carroll said. "We don't need someone running for president making those kinds of statements."

None of Trump's GOP competitors have backed his comments. Several have condemned the comments on social media and other formats.

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