Providing more details about his response to the Orlando shooting, Donald Trump on Sunday proposed the profiling of Muslims by law enforcement, and the nation-wide implementing of a Muslim surveillance programs which was used for a while by the NYPD, but which was discontinued after it had failed to yield a single useful lead.
Trump was referring to the NYPD’s Demographics Unit, which spied on Muslims and mosques around the city with help from the CIA.
The AP said the group assembled databases on where Muslims lived, shopped, worked, and prayed, infiltrated Muslim student groups, put informants in mosques, and monitored sermons.
In January, the city settled two lawsuits stemming from such surveillance.
“You do [it] as they used to do in New York prior to this mayor dismantling,” Trump said.
“I think profiling is something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country,” Trump told CBS’s Face the Nation. “You look at Israel and you look at others and they do it successfully.
“You know, I hate the concept of profiling. But we have to start using common sense and we have to use, you know, we have to use our heads.”
He then said racial or religious profiling was “not the worst thing to do,” repeated his call to surveil mosques and added: “They’re doing it in France.”
The Independent reports that following the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, France has imposed emergency rules – which last month were replaced by legislation – giving law enforcement agencies more surveillance and investigative powers. The legislation was controversial, leading to the resignation of the justice minister and to criticism from the large Muslim community if France.
Trump, in his CBS interview, said he did not know whether Muslims who legally bought weapons and ammunition should be subject to extra scrutiny from the police.