Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said authorities should "watch and study" mosques in the U.S. as part of the campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS), adding that they could even consider closing down these mosques.
"I would hate to do it, but it's something that you're going to have to strongly consider because some of the ideas and some of the hatred, the absolute hatred, is coming from these areas," Trump said during MSNBC's "Morning Joe" programme.
Trump said that surveillance of mosques is extremely important because "a lot of talk is going on at the mosques." He added that closing mosques is "something that many people — not me — it's something that many people are considering and that many people are going to do."
He said he understands that he would be receiving a lot of backlash if he interferes with religion, but he insists that something must be done because people are already consumed with so much hatred.
"There is already hatred. It's embedded. It is beyond belief. There is hatred greater than anybody understands. And it's already there. It not like, what, do you think they think we're great people? It's already there. It's a very, very sad situation," said Trump.
The business magnate agrees that radical Muslims are just a small percentage of the entire Muslim population, but he said that they are creating "a tremendous amount of horror and damage and vitriol."
"You look at what's happening. This is something that has to be stopped," he said. "I mean, they're using the Internet better than we are."
Trump said he knows a lot of Muslims who are "great people," and it is just sad that their image is being "tarnished" by the violent and senseless actions being carried out by radical Islamists.