POLITICS

Donald Trump Tells Piers Morgan That Muslims Are 'Absolutely Not' Reporting Terrorists

US Presidential interviewed on Good Morning Britain

23/03/2016 07:24 GMT | Updated 23/03/2016 09:02 GMT

Donald Trump has urged British Muslims to do more to report extremism in an interview with British broadcaster Piers Morgan.

Speaking in the aftermath of the Brussels atrocities, the US Presidential candidate claimed moderate Muslims were “absolutely not reporting” would-be terrorists in their communities, and said the perpetrators of the Paris attacks had been “coddled”.

But his claims were rubbished as "bigotry" and inaccurate by the Muslim Council of Britain.

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The Republican frontrunner, in an interview on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, said he had “great respect for Muslims” and had “many friends that are Muslims”.

But when asked what the Muslim community should do to prevent radicalism, Trump replied: “I would say this to the Muslims, in the United States also: when they see trouble they have to report, and they are not reporting it. They are absolutely not reporting it. That’s a big problem.”

Speaking while the US primary elections continue, Trump said the Brussels attacks were a “disgrace”.

“I knew Brussels years ago,” he said. “I was there probably three or four times and it was so beautiful, so secure and so safe. And now it’s an armed camp - I’m talking about before this new bombing.

“It’s a different world, a different place. There’s no assimilation. What’s going on there and what’s going on in other cities like Paris and others is a disgrace - an absolute disgrace - that we allow it to happen.”

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Miqdaad Versi, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain

Miqdaad Versi, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, appeared on the show to respond to Trumps claims, and calmly dismissed the notion moderate Muslims were not doing enough.

He said: "We've had mosques that throw extremists out of their midsts. We've had many hundreds of Muslims reporting other Muslims to the police and to counter-terror officials. We have over 90% of Muslims saying if there is any Muslim within their own community, maybe committing an attack, they would report them."

Pressed by Morgan on whether 5% of the Muslim community was susceptible to extremism, and not have "good intentions", Versi said: "Of course there are fringe elements in any community and there are people who have gone to Syria to fight for Daesh or so-called ISIS. They are people we need to stop."

Trump has previously claimed that London is so radicalised that police are afraid to go on the streets, comments dismissed by the Met Police and the Government.

Versi said his suggestion there are "no-go areas" in the U "fuel this idea of bigotry, fuel the thing that terrorists themselves want".

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Donald Trump on Good Morning Britain this morning

The property tycoon and TV star criticised how the recently arrested Paris bomber, Salah Abdeslam, was “coddled and taken care of by people that live in the neighbourhood”, and claimed “a lot of people in the community” knew the California attacks were being planned.

He went on: “I have great respect for Muslims. I have many friends that are Muslims. I’m just saying that there is something with radicalised portion that is very bad and very dangerous.”

The billionaire, who looks set to be the Republican candidate at October’s US elections, signalled efforts to destroy Isis were not enough.

He told the ex-Daily Mirror editor: “I would hit Isis so hard you wouldn’t believe it. I’d get the people over there to put up their soldiers. It’s about time somebody did it. I’d have such back up like you've never seen in terms of air power like. You’ve got to take them out and you’ve got to take them out harshly and you’ve got to take them out fast.”