White House wants Republicans to disqualify Trump as reactions snowball: [todayszaman.com] The Pentagon, the headquarters of the US Department of Defense, warned on Tuesday that Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric undermines US national security, especially fueling the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant's (ISIL) narrative of a US war with Islam.
Asked about Trump's remarks, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said Muslims serve in the US armed forces and that America's war strategy to combat the Islamic State hinged on support from Muslim countries, according to a Reuters report.
“Anything that bolsters ISIL's narrative and pits the United States against the Muslim faith is certainly not only contrary to our values but contrary to our national security,” Cook told a news briefing, refraining to mention Trump by name.
US Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Trump's proposal could thwart US efforts to connect with the Muslim community and Secretary of State John Kerry said his ideas were not constructive.
The Pentagon counts thousands of service members who self-identify as Muslims. Data released by the US Defense Department showed that 3,817 active-duty members and 2,079 members of the National Guard and reserve identified their faith as “Islam.” However the real number could well be higher as the identifications are voluntary.
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