Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Monday he would consider closing some mosques in America with radical leadership because of the Paris attacks if he were elected president.
“I would hate to do it, but it’s something that you’re going to have to strongly consider,” he was quoted by The Associated Press as having said in an interview.
Trump and his rivals have been working to articulate how they would respond to Friday’s attacks, claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS), which killed 129 people and left hundreds wounded.
Trump, who has been pushing for a more aggressive response, also said Americans must reassess some of their civil liberties in response to growing threats from ISIS.
“We have to be much tougher,” he said in another interview, according to AP. “We are going to have to give up certain privileges that we’ve always had.”
“Surveillance took a big turn over the last 48 hours,” he added. “48 hours ago everybody was saying, ‘Well we want our freedoms, we don’t want this to happen.’ And now, all of sudden, people are saying, ‘Hey listen, you can listen to my phone conversations.'”
That surveillance should include intelligence-gathering in and around mosques, said Trump.
“Well you’re going to have to watch and study the mosques because a lot of talk is going on at the mosques,” he stated.
He also criticized President Barack Obama for not moving earlier to destroy the ISIS sites that France bombed over the weekend. He said the U.S. should be going more aggressively after the group’s oil and financing and pressing other countries to intensify their fighting against the radicals.
Trump’s comments came as the governors of several American states spoke out against Obama’s plan to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees into the U.S. in 2016. At least one of the terrorists behind the attacks in Paris apparently entered Europe via Greece as a Syrian "refugee".
The move, which began with Alabama and Michigan, quickly spread to other states, and by Monday evening, the governors of 24 states announced they would refuse refugees.