GOP presidential front runner Donald Trump calls for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims" entering the United States, following last week's mass shooting in California, Press TV reported.
In a statement released by his campaign team on Monday, the Islamophobiac real estate mogul urged a halt on Muslims entrance to the United States "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."
Trump is quoted in the statement as saying that a sizable number of Muslims harbor a "hatred toward Americans" and as a result should be kept out of the country, backing it with a poll by the Center for Security Policy.
"Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that... have no sense of reason or respect for human life."
Trump's comments were made in the wake of last Wednesday's mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, which left at least 14 people dead and 21 injured.
Playing on people's fears
The billionaire developer's remarks unleashed quick condemnation on the part of the White House officials, with White House spokesman Josh Earnest saying "It's entirely inconsistent with the kinds of values that were central to the founding of this country."
"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," he told MSNBC.
In condemnation of Trump's remarks, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said, "Anti-Muslim hysteria has become a prominent feature in his campaign."
US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton described the remarks as "reprehensible, prejudiced and divisive."
"You don't get it. This makes us less safe," said the Democratic front runner in a tweet.
Democratic presidential contender Martin O'Malley also said Trump's incendiary comment "removes all doubt: he is running for president as a fascist demagogue."
Even former Florida governor Jeb Bush, a fellow-Republican, dismissed Trump's remarks as "not serious."
"Donald Trump is unhinged," Bush tweeted. "His 'policy' proposals are not serious."
In an interview with CNN, US President Barack Obama's top foreign policy aide, Ben Rhodes, described Trump's comments as "totally contrary to our values as Americans," adding, "We have, in our Bill of Rights, respect for the freedom of religion."
Donald Trump has assumed a more virulent tone targeting Muslim Americans since the deadly Paris attacks on November 13 by Daesh Takfiri terrorists.
In a rare televised address from the Oval Office on Sunday, US President Barack Obama said "ISIL does not speak for Islam. They are thugs and killers, part of a cult of death. And they account for a tiny fraction of a more than a billion Muslims around the world, including millions of patriotic Muslim-Americans who reject their hateful ideology."