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Sunday 29 May 2016

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Donald Trump: Islam hates the West

Published 10/03/2016

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says some Muslims have an 'unbelievable hatred' of the West (AP)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says some Muslims have an 'unbelievable hatred' of the West (AP)

US presidential hopeful Donald Trump has said he believes that Islam hates the West.

"I think Islam hates us," the Republican billionaire businessman said in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper.

"There's a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it. There is an unbelievable hatred of us."

Asked whether he thought there was a "war between the West and radical Islam" or "war between the West and Islam itself", Mr Trump replied: "It's radical, but it's very hard to define. It's very hard to separate. Because you don't know who's who."

Critics have argued that Mr Trump's rhetoric, as well as his call to temporarily ban foreign Muslims from the entering the US, would only exacerbate problems by alienating moderate Muslims.

Mr Trump called for party members to rally behind his candidacy after he won primaries in three more states, declaring that he could not be defeated in the November general election as the standard-bearer of a united party.

Meanwhile, Democrat rivals Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders tangled repeatedly in their eighth presidential debate over who was a true advocate for Latinos and who had a track record of letting Hispanics down.

Fighting for Florida and beyond, the two faced off in Miami just six days before Florida gives its verdict on the presidential race.

Mrs Clinton faulted Mr Sanders for repeatedly voting against a 2007 comprehensive immigration reform bill and he criticised her for opposing a 2007 effort to allow people who were in the country illegally to obtain driving licences.

Had the immigration package passed back then, Mrs Clinton said, "a lot of the issues we are still discussing today would be in the rear-view mirror".

Mr Sanders retorted that he opposed the legislation because it included a guest worker programme "akin to slavery".

Former US secretary of state Mrs Clinton has won 762 pledged delegates compared with 549 for Mr Sanders, with 10 delegates from recent primaries still to be allocated. When superdelegates are included, Mrs Clinton leads 1,223 to 574, more than halfway to the 2,383 needed to win the Democratic nomination.

Mrs Clinton stressed that she has a strong lead in the delegates, declaring: "This is a marathon and it is a marathon that can only be carried by the kind of campaign I am running."

Mr Sanders said he had come a long way from the early days when his campaign was largely written off and said his victory in the Michigan primary was evidence that his message was resonating.

Mrs Clinton mocked Mr Trump's plan for a wall on the Mexican border, saying he would build "the most beautiful tall wall, better than the great wall of China" to be "magically" paid for by Mexico. That, she said, was a fantasy.

Mr Sanders largely agreed, adding his hope that in the immigration debate "we do not, as Donald Trump and others have done, resort to racism and xenophobia and bigotry".

Florida is home to nearly 1.8 million Hispanics, including about 15% of the state's Democrats. A good share of those Florida voters already have locked in their decisions: nearly 487,000 Democrats have cast early ballots, representing about 11% of registered Democrats.

Hispanic voters have made up about 10% of voters in the Democratic primaries so far this year and Mrs Clinton has been getting about two-thirds of their votes to about one-third for Mr Sanders. The Vermont senator, for his part, stresses that he is making progress on winning over younger Hispanics.

Overall, 691 delegates are at stake on Tuesday, including 99 in Florida, which awards all its delegates to the winner rather than dividing them up proportionately.

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