republican DONALD Trump’s ‘repulsive’ remarks about refusing Muslims entry to the United States risks igniting Islamaphobia by giving it a mainstream voice, MPs have said as they table a motion to ban him from the UK.
The 69-year-old American billionaire has said UK politicians should be thanking him instead of “pandering to political correctness” after he sparked an international row with his explosive comments.
The presidential hopeful said recent shootings in California require a “complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the US, and that Britain too shared “a problem” with the religion with a number of no-go areas in London that police do not dare to enter.
Outraged Bradford East MP Imran Hussain, who represents a high proportion of Muslim constituents, tabled an Early Day Motion asking for the Government to quash any application Mr Trump makes for a UK Visa.
Labour’s Mr Hussain hopes the Government will now pay attention to the fact that there is cross-party support from MPs and his views cannot be seen to be tolerated.
He said: “Because of his continually divisive, discriminatory and dangerous behaviour, it is right that the UK Government should look at banning Mr Trump from entering the UK in order to send a strong message that his behaviour cannot and will not be tolerated.
“Donald Trump’s views on many issues are nothing short of dangerous and divisive as they come at a time when Islamophobia is on the rise in our communities and when Muslims are facing increasing persecution in society.
“By making such comments and airing such intolerant views he risks making extreme views and prejudiced behaviour the norm by granting such positions legitimacy.
“Such views also create a divided culture where Muslims are not seen as part of mainstream society, but as a separate group.”
Early Day Motions are submitted by MPs to flag up serious issues of concern to the Government. They are rarely debated, however politicians can pledge their support, and so far the motion has the backing of 35 MPs – mainly SNP members.
Mr Trump has made much of his Scottish roots as his mother was born in the Island of Lewis and he now owns hotels and golf courses across the country.
Within hours of his comments however, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon dropped him as business ambassador for Scotland and he was also stripped of his honorary degree by Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University.
Dewsbury Labour MP Paula Sherriff is one of the original six signatories of the motion and said he was effectively “inciting racial hatred”.
“I was repulsed and horrified by what he was saying,” she said.
“Until he withdraws those comments he should be banned from entering the UK. I absolutely stand by that.
“Those comments go against everything that we have been working towards for many years in terms of cohesion.
“When we know Islamophobia is on the rise, and when he says Muslims shouldn’t be allowed in the US – that is completely the narrative we are trying to avoid.”
Pressure is also mounting for MPs to have a debate on this after 400,000 people signed a petition entitled ‘Block Donald J Trump from UK entry’.
Ms Sherriff said Britain must take this matter extremely seriously, although she noted that “he isn’t the presidential candidate yet for the Republicans and there’s a long way to go”.