LONDON/WASHINGTON: World leaders, fellow Republicans, along with “Harry Potter “author J.K. Rowling condemned comments by US presidential hopeful Donald Trump saying Muslims should be barred from entering the United States.
British author J.K. Rowling wrote on Twitter that Voldemort, the archvillain of her popular Harry Potter series, “was nowhere near as bad” as Trump.
Trump's proposal also drew criticism in France, which had its worst attacks since World War Two on Nov. 13 when shootings and suicide bombings in Paris killed 130 people.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, in a post on Twitter, said “Mr Trump, like others, is feeding hatred and misinformation. Our only enemy is radical Islam.”
A spokeswoman for British Prime Minister David Cameron called Trump's comments “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong.”
Trump's Republican colleagues too warned that if Trump is the party's nominee, his stance could hurt in a general election against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
“Donald Trump is Hillary Clinton's Christmas gift wrapped up under a tree,” Republican candidate Carly Fiorina said on Twitter.
US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican, told reporters the plan was “not conservatism.” But he said he would support the party's presidential nominee.
US Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Donald Trump's plan to ban Muslims from entering the United States was not only offensive but would undermine US security by thwarting efforts to connect with the Muslim community.
“It is irresponsible to do this and contrary to our national security efforts,” Johnson, who earlier had declined to comment on the Republican presidential candidate's proposal, told MSNBC in an interview.
Democrats, meanwhile, blamed Republicans for Trump's extreme language and warned it could help him with primary voters.
“Donald Trump is standing on the platform of hate, and, I'm sorry to say, hate that the Republican Party has built for him,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat.
Clinton tweeted, “Tell Donald Trump: Hate is not an American value.” Huma Abedin, a top aide to Clinton, sent a fundraising email Monday night declaring her own Muslim faith. “Unfortunately, Trump is leaning into the kind of fear of progress that very well could help him win the nomination,” Abedin wrote.
Polls have shown a stark divide between Republicans and Democrats in how they view Muslims.
Two international refugee organizations rejected Trump's comments, saying US presidential campaign rhetoric threatens resettlement efforts. Muslims in Pakistan and Indonesia also denounced it.
Despite broad public outrage at many of his remarks, the billionaire real estate mogul is ahead in polls of likely Republican voters and is the clear frontrunner to secure the Republican nomination as presidential candidate in 2016.