Donald Trump's comments suggesting he would be open to shutting down U.S. mosques if a worshiper is linked to ISIS are being condemned as "un-American" and "un-presidential."
When asked by Fox Business Channel's Stuart Varney whether he agreed with British Prime Minister David Cameron's proposal earlier this week to close "extremist" mosques, Trump said, "I would do that, absolutely."
Varney questioned the legality of Trump's response: "Can you close a mosque? We do have religious freedom."
"It depends," Trump said, "if the mosque is, you know, loaded for bear."
In a statement Wednesday, the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) asked the GOP frontrunner to better explain his definition of "extremism" and to elaborate on the criteria his administration would use to close any house of worship.
"Donald Trump's apparent willingness to close down American mosques that he deems 'extreme' is totally incompatible with the Constitution and our nation's cherished principle of religious freedom," CAIR's government affairs department manager Robert McCaw said in the statement.
The statement went on to point out: "Even Rep. Peter King of New York, who has often been criticized for his Islamophobic views, condemned Trump's remarks."
Last month, Trump was criticized by Muslim groups for his failure to challenge a supporter who said, "We have a problem in this country. It's called Muslims."
The presidential contender has drawn the ire of various groups since officially launching his campaign in June. During his presidential run kick-off speech, Trump said Mexican immigrants are "rapists," among other things. He refused to apologize.
In August, Trump said in an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd, that if elected, he would reverse President Barack Obama's executive orders on immigration and deport all undocumented immigrants.