ISLAMABAD: Some Muslims in Pakistan on Tuesday denounced Donald Trump's call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States, dismissing the US Republican presidential front-runner as a bigot who promoted violence.
Trump's statement on “preventing Muslim immigration” drew swift and fierce criticism from many directions at home, including the from the White House and rivals for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
Trump, responding to last week's California shooting spree by two Muslims who the Federal Bureau of Investigation said had been radicalised, called for a complete block on Muslims entering the US “until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on.”
Pakistan Ulema Council Chairman Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi said Trump's comments promoted violence, adding that the militant Islamic State (IS) group the main for problem in the Syrian civil war.
“If some Muslim leader says there is a war between Christians and Muslims, we condemn him. So why should we not condemn an American if he says that? Islamic State is a problem of Syria, not religion. If you solve the Syria issue, 75 per cent of the IS problem will be solved.”
“It's so absurd a statement that I don't even wish to react to it,” said Asma Jahangir, one of Pakistan's most prominent human rights lawyers.
“This is the worst kind of bigotry mixed with ignorance. I would imagine that someone who is hoping to become president of the US doesn't want to compete with an ignorant criminal-minded mullah of Pakistan who denounces people of other religions ... Although we are not as advanced as the US, we have never elected such people to power in Pakistan.”
Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Armanatha Nasir said his government would not comment on election campaigns in other countries, while adding that his country had made know its position on terrorism.
“As the country with the biggest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia affirms that Islam teaches peace and tolerance,” he told Reuters. “Acts of terror do not have any relation with any religion or country or race.”
Trump's comments at a rally on Monday in South Carolina prompted criticism from Republican former Vice President Dick Cheney and Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush, who said Trump was “unhinged”.
They followed last week's killings in San Bernardino, California, by a Muslim couple.
The husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, was US-born. The wife, Tashfeen Malik, was born in Pakistan and came to the US from Saudi Arabia.