The Pentagon has warned that Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric undermines US national security by boosting ISIS.
Donald Trump has said Muslims should be banned from entering the US, in the wake of the deadly San Bernardino attacks.
Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said such talk “bolsters ISIL’s narrative”, referring to ISIS.
There has been a global outcry since Donald Trump made his remarks.
Secretary of State John Kerry joined the onslaught of condemnation on December 8 when he said they were “not constructive” in the fight against ISIS.
Donald Trump announced his plan days after an attack in California raised US fears about homegrown terrorism.
A Muslim couple, believed to have been radicalized, opened fire and killed 14 people at a social center in San Bernardino, California.
One of the two perpetrators, Tashfeen Malik, reportedly pledged allegiance to ISIS on the day of the tragedy.
Responding to Donald Trump’s remarks, the Pentagon said a border closed to Muslims would harm American efforts to counter extremist ideology.
Without mentioning Donald Trump by name, Peter Cook said: “Anything that bolsters ISIL’s narrative and pits the United States against the Muslim faith is certainly not only contrary to our values but contrary to our national security.”
The Pentagon’s view echoed a tweet from Hillary Clinton that said Donald Trump’s proposed ban is “not only counter to our values – it plays right into the hands of terrorists”.
The outcry was swift as soon as Donald Trump said in a statement on December 7 that Muslims nursed a “hatred” towards America and should be banned “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”.
The Republican presidential hopeful and reality TV star later said it would not apply to people living in the US.
Donald Trump defended the idea on December 8, comparing it to policies implemented by President Franklin Roosevelt during World War Two against Japanese, German and Italian people in the US.
Muslim leaders, the UN and foreign leaders have criticized the call as dangerous and divisive, while the White House said Donald Trump should be disqualified from the race.
Attempting to explain his comments, Donald Trump said parts of London were “so radicalized the police are afraid for their lives”.
Responding to the billionaire’s comments, London Mayor Boris Johnson said that was “ridiculous” and added: “The only reason I wouldn’t go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump.”
UK PM David Cameron said Donald Trump’s comments were “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong”.
Republican leaders were strong in their condemnation. House Speaker Paul Ryan said: “What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for. And more importantly, it’s not what this country stands for.”