Trump fails to challenge anti-Muslim rhetoric at rally

Trump fails to challenge anti-Muslim rhetoric at rally
Presidential hopeful Donald Trump finds himself embroiled in controversy once again after not condemning a call to purge his country of Muslims.
3 min read
18 September, 2015
Trump has spearheaded the conspiratorial campaign around President Obama's birthplace [Getty]
Donald Trump has sparked outrage after failing to condemn a call to rid the United States of Muslims and claims that US President Barack Obama was "not an American".

The current front-runner for the Republican Party's presidential nomination dodged questions on Obama being a Muslim and on how to "get rid" of Muslims at a campaign event on Thursday night in New Hampshire.

"We have a problem in this country. It's called Muslims," a man in the audience told Trump.

"We know our current president is one. You know he's not even an American. Birth certificate, man," he added.

The controversial presidential candidate - a leading figure in the "Birther" movement - then interjected to stress the importance of the point: "We need this question. This is the first question."
     We have a problem in this country. It's called Muslims
- Republican rally attendee

The questioner continued: "But, anyway, we have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That's my question: When can we get rid of them?"

Trump's response was vague. "We are going to be looking at a lot of different things," he said.

"A lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there, we're going to be looking at that and plenty of other things," he added.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was quick to condemn Trump's response.

"Donald Trump not denouncing false statements about [the US president] [and] hateful rhetoric about Muslims is disturbing, just plain wrong. Cut it out," she tweeted.

In a statement, the Trump campaign said: "The media wants to make this issue about Obama. The bigger issue is that Obama is waging a war against Christians in this country. Christians need support in this country. Their religious liberties are at stake."

President Obama, who has spoken openly about his Christian faith, was born to an American mother and Kenyan father in Hawaii.

But Trump has been one of the leading sceptics, challenging Obama in 2011 to produce his birth certificate to disprove rumours that he was born in Kenya.

The president duely showed his birth certificate, which said quite clearly that he was indeed born in the United States.

Not letting facts or evidence get in the way, a recent poll revealed that nearly a third of Americans, including 43 percent of Republicans, believe Obama is a Muslim - with 13 percent thinking that the president was born outside the US.

Trump's comments have come days after Muslim teenager Ahmed Mohamed received an outpouring of support, including from President Obama, following his arrest when teachers "mistook" his homemade clock for a bomb.