What the World Is Saying About Donald Trump’s Comments About Muslims

Much of the reaction to the Republican presidential candidate’s call has been critical.

Andrew Harnik / AP

Updated on December 8 at 11:30 a.m.

Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, doubled down Tuesday on his remarks calling for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

Appearing on ABC’s Good Morning America, Trump compared his plan to the Japanese internment camps used by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II.

“This is a president highly respected by all, he did the same thing,” Trump said. “If you look at what he was doing, it was far worse. I mean, he was talking about the Germans because we’re at war.

“We are now at war. We have a president that doesn’t want to say that, but we are now at war.”

But Trump rejected the idea that he was advocating the internment of Muslim Americans: “No, I’m not. No, I’m not. No, I’m not,” he said.

Trump’s remarks Monday were in apparent response to the massacre in San Bernardino, in which an Illinois-born man and his Pakistan-born wife killed 14 people and wounded 21 others. The FBI said the couple was radicalized.

Trump’s comments were nearly universally condemned—both in the U.S. and around the world. Here’s a roundup of global reaction:


A spokeswoman for British Prime Minister David Cameron called the remarks “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong.”

“The prime minister has been very clear that, as we look at how we tackle extremism and this poisonous ideology, what politicians need to do is look at ways they can bring communities together and make clear that these terrorists are not representative of Islam and indeed what they are doing is a perversion of Islam,” she said.


A statement from Dar al-Ifta, the country’s official religious body, called Trump’s remarks “hate rhetoric.”

“Such hostile attitudes towards Islam and Muslims will increase tensions within the American society of which Muslims represent around 8 million peaceful and loyal American citizens,” the organization said.


That tweet by the French prime minister translates to: “Mr. Trump, like others, stokes hatred: our ONLY enemy is radical Islamism.”

Global Media

Writing in Haaretz, the left-leaning Israeli newspaper, columnist Chemi Shalev said Trump’s  remarks “must have delighted the Caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” the leader of ISIS.

“For some Jews, the sight of thousands of supporters waving their fists in anger as Trump incited against Muslims and urged a blanket ban on their entry to the United States could have evoked associations with beer halls in Munich a century ago,” he wrote.

The “useful idiot” analogy was also used by Suddeutsch Zeitung, the German newspaper. The Telegraph, the right-leaning British newspaper, posted a quiz headlined, “Who said it: Donald Trump or Adolf Hitler?

Support for Trump’s Remarks

Geert Wilders, the head of the Dutch Freedom Party, a far-right group that is represented in parliament, supported Trump’s call.

Other Reactions

In Pakistan, Asma Jahangir, the prominent human-rights activist, called Trump’s remarks “absurd.”

“This is the worst kind of bigotry mixed with ignorance,” she said. “I would imagine that someone who is hoping to become president of the U.S. doesn’t want to compete with an ignorant criminal-minded mullah of Pakistan who denounces people of other religions.”

Yenny Wahid, an Islamic activist and daughter of Abdurrahman Wahid, the former Indonesian president, told The Guardian: “I think the perspective of people here in Indonesia is that they see Donald Trump as a loser. We don’t really take his comments seriously.”

Trump’s remarks also prompted comparison on social media to Lord Voldemort, the villain in the Harry Potter series—a comparison that drew this response: