20 Jun 2016

Trump pushes profiling of Muslims

12:08 pm on 20 June 2016

The presumptive Republican nominee for the American presidency, Donald Trump, has called for the United States to think seriously about using profiling to fight crime, in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump Photo: AFP

Profiling is a controversial policing technique that uses a person's race, religion, national origin or ethnicity as grounds for suspecting them of committing a crime.

African-Americans, Latinos, Muslims and other minorities in the US have complained bitterly about the practice for decades.

Speaking on an American news programme, Mr Trump said he hated the concept of profiling, but it was common sense to use it in relation to Muslims as part of the US response to terrorism.

Mr Trump has blamed what he calls radical Islam for the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in which 49 people were killed.

He has already called for harsher policies, including a ban on Muslims entering the US and the surveillance of mosques.

"I think profiling is something that we're going to have to start thinking about as a country," Mr Trump said when asked whether he supported more profiling of Muslims.

"You look at Israel and you look at others, and they do it and they do it successfully."

Protesters assemble on Lamar Street near Gilley's, in in Dallas, Texas, after Donald Trump arrived, intending to boost support.

Protesters greet Donald Trump in Dallas, Texas. Photo: AFP

Mr Trump also reiterated his support for more scrutiny of mosques.

"If you go to France right now, they're doing it in France. In fact, in some instances they're closing down mosques," he said.

Police in France shut down some mosques soon after gunmen aligned with Islamic State killed 130 people in Paris in a series of attacks in November last year.

The Orlando gunman, Omar Mateen, expressed support for Islamic State, but officials believe he was "self-radicalised".

Trump dividing Republicans

Mr Trump has drawn criticism from many in his party by calling for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.

He also has called for a suspension of immigration from countries with "a proven history of terrorism".

Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has said the comments show Mr Trump is unfit to be president.

House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan endorsed Mr Trump but has said a Muslim ban is not in US interests.

Mr Ryan said Republicans weighing up whether to vote for Mr Trump should follow their "conscience".

Mr Trump brushed off the criticism and said he would put up his own money for his campaign if necessary.

"It would be nice if the Republicans stuck together," Mr Trump said in an ABC (America) interview. "I can win, one way or another."

-BBC

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