WASHINGTON, Nov. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned both leading Republican presidential candidates for "Islamophobic and unconstitutional" comments targeting American Muslims and Syrian refugees.
CAIR condemned Donald Trump for refusing to rule out special IDs and a surveillance database for American Muslims and the civil rights group similarly condemned Ben Carson for comparing Syrian refugees to "rabid dogs."
Yahoo News asked Trump whether increased surveillance of American Muslims could include warrantless searches. "We're going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule," Trump said. "And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy. And so we're going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago."
When asked whether tracking American Muslims might require registering them in a database or giving them a form of "special identification that noted their religion," he refused to rule it out.
"We're going to have to — we're going to have to look at a lot of things very closely," said Trump. "We're going to have to look at the mosques. We're going to have to look very, very carefully."
SEE: Donald Trump Has Big Plans for 'Radical Islamic' Terrorists, 2016 and 'That Communist' Bernie Sanders
While talking about Syrian refugees Thursday in Alabama, Ben Carson compared them to "rabid dogs."
Carson said: "If there is a rabid dog running around your neighborhood, you're probably not going to assume something good about that dog. And you're probably going to put your children out of the way."
SEE: Ben Carson Compares Syrian Refugees to Rabid, 'Mad' Dogs
"By mainstreaming Islamophobic and unconstitutional policies, Donald Trump and Ben Carson are contributing to an already toxic environment that may be difficult to correct once their political ambitions have been satisfied," said CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw. "Such extremist rhetoric is unbecoming of anyone who seeks our nation's highest office and must be strongly repudiated by leaders from across the political spectrum."
In October, CAIR condemned similar remarks Trump made about his apparent willingness to close down American mosques.
SEE: CAIR Condemns Donald Trump's Statement on Closing U.S. Mosques
In September, CAIR called on Trump to also clarify what he meant when stating that he was "going to be looking at that" to a question about the Muslim "problem in this country" and "When can we get rid of them?"
SEE: CAIR Calls on Donald Trump to Clarify 'Looking At' Getting Rid of Muslims
Also in September, CAIR announced the renewal of its "Share the Quran" campaign in response to Ben Carson's false claim that Islam is "inconsistent" with the Constitution and his bigoted belief that a Muslim should not be elected president.
SEE: CAIR Announces Quran Giveaway in Response to Ben Carson's Anti-Muslim Remarks
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, firstname.lastname@example.org, CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Nabeelah Naeem, 202-341-4171, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)