Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is facing harsh criticism for calling for a "total and complete" shutdown of "Muslims entering the United States."
Trump's proposed ban would apply to immigrants and visitors alike. Despite the backlash, Donald Trump does not plan to back down from the proposal to ban Muslims coming into the U.S. He made his case at a rally in South Carolina Monday night. And the country's largest Muslim civil rights organization quickly fired back.
"We have no idea whether they love us or hate us or want to bomb us," said Trump.
"Donald Trump sounds more like a leader of a lynch mob than a great nation like ours," said Nihad Awad, director for Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Trump's GOP rivals are now taking aim. Texas Senator Ted Cruz said the focus should be on radical Islamic terrorism.
Candidate John Kasich, the Ohio Governor, sent out a campaign fundraising email, saying Trump's "rhetoric is outrageous, and it's divisive." And a Jeb Bush super PAC released an ad blasting Trump and other GOP contenders.
But Trump's supporters at Monday night's rally were not shaken by the front-runners comments, even giving him a standing ovation.
"I just wanted to hear what he had to say, and I think we need somebody strong like that," said one voter.
On Twitter Democratic Front-runner Hillary Clinton said, "This is reprehensible and prejudiced."
Bernie Sanders wrote, "We are weak when we allow racism to divide us."
The United States is a great nation when we stand together. We are a weak nation when we allow racism and xenophobia to divide us.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) December 7, 2015