WASHINGTON: Senior White House officials lined up Monday to condemn Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, saying it was contrary to US values and interests.

“You're being generous by describing it as a proposal,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest, castigating the fiery Republican presidential front runner's latest outburst as “cynical”.

“I think what Mr Trump is doing is something that he's been doing over the course of his entire campaign, which is to play on people's fears in order to build support for his campaign.”

“I think what he's doing, he's dividing America in a really cynical way,” Earnest told MSNBC.

A statement from Trump's campaign team earlier ignited a political firestorm, by suggesting he would stop Muslims from entering the country “until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on”.

The comments come in the wake of a mass shooting that saw a married couple kill 14 people and were denounced by many in his own party.

“It's entirely inconsistent with the kinds of values that were central to the founding of this country,” said Earnest.

One of President Barack Obama's top foreign policy aides, Ben Rhodes, told CNN that the plan was also “contrary to our security”.

“The fact of the matter is (the militant Islamic State group) wants to frame this as a war between the United States and Islam,” he added.

“And if we look like we apply religious tests to who comes into to this country, we are sending a message that essentially we are embracing that.”

Rhodes added that the move plan, if acted upon, would also call into question the United States' ability to work with Muslim communities to counter radicalisation.

Opinion

New engagement
Updated 19 Apr 2021

New engagement

Better Pak-India ties mean a better regional outcome.
Inequality and ideology
19 Apr 2021

Inequality and ideology

Hunger and want, and the constant reminder of inequality,may condition religious mobilisation, but they are not solely sufficient.
Ties of sentiment
19 Apr 2021

Ties of sentiment

Pakistan-UK relations have been remarkably stable and increasingly energised by the Pakistani diaspora.

Editorial

19 Apr 2021

Vaccine shortfall

THE hope that the slew of Covid-19 vaccinations approved for use since the end of last year would vanquish the ...
Another package
Updated 19 Apr 2021

Another package

Sindh has not seen much development worth the name during the PPP’s more than decade-long rule in the province.
19 Apr 2021

Cricket triumph

TEAM Pakistan have a number of reasons to rejoice after their 3-1 T20 series win over hosts South Africa on Friday....
18 Apr 2021

More cabinet changes

PRIME MINISTER Imran Khan has reshuffled his cabinet yet again in what is obviously another attempt to shore up his...
Blocking social media
Updated 18 Apr 2021

Blocking social media

FOR four hours this week, all social media platforms in the country were shut down, a measure the government said ...
18 Apr 2021

Peasant rights in Sindh

IN a seminar held in Nawabshah recently, the Sindh Human Rights Commission and Hari Welfare Association reiterated a...