Donald Trump draws blistering fire from all sides after calling for 'complete shutdown' on Muslims entering U.S.

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reacts while addressing supporters at a Trump for President campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Dec. 4, 2015.Reuters

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump called on Monday for a total ban on all Muslims travelling to the United States in the most stunning response yet by an American candidate to the Dec. 2 shooting rampage in San Bernardino, California by a husband-and-wife Islamic terrorist couple.

"We have no choice," Trump said at a rally in South Carolina, warning of more terrorist attacks in the U.S. if stern and drastic measures are not taken, Newsmax reported.

His campaign press release said, "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

"Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine," Trump said in his statement. "Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life."

Trump's campaign added in the release that such a ban should remain in effect "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on," CNN reported.

The release pointed to an online poll from the controversial Center for Security Policy, which claimed that a quarter of Muslims living in the U.S. believe violence against Americans is justified as part of a global jihadist campaign.

Trump's camp also pointed to a poll that showed "great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population."

Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told CNN on Monday that the ban should apply not just to Muslim foreigners looking to immigrate to the U.S., but also to Muslims looking to visit the U.S. as tourists.

"Everyone," Lewandowski said when asked if the ban would also apply to Muslim tourists.

During a Fox News interview on Monday evening, however, Trump said his policy would not apply to current Muslims in the U.S.

"I have Muslim friends, Greta, and they're wonderful people. But there's a tremendous section and cross-section of Muslims living in our country who have tremendous animosity," he told Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren. "It does not apply to people living in the country, except we have to be vigilant."

Trump's call further energised many of his supporters, who showed their approval via social media as well as at his rally on Monday night, CNN said.

However, critics were aplenty, both from the Democratic and Republican camps.

President Barack Obama's deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes called Trump's proposal "totally contrary to our values as Americans" and pointed to the Bill of Rights' protection of freedom of religion and pointing to the "extraordinary contributions" Muslim Americans have made to the U.S.

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton tweeted: "This is reprehensible, prejudiced and divisive. @RealDonaldTrump, you don't get it. This makes us less safe. -H"

The two other Democratic presidential candidates—Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley—both called Trump a "demagogue."

On the Republican camp, presidential candidate and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said what Trump proposed "is not my policy," adding that he has "introduced legislation in the Senate that would put in place a three-year moratorium on refugees coming from countries where ISIS or al-Qaeda control a substantial amount of territory. And the reason is that is where the threat is coming from."

Another presidential bet, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said he also disagrees with Trump. "(Trump's) habit of making offensive and outlandish statements will not bring Americans together. The next president better be somebody who can unite our country to face the great challenges of the 21st Century," he said in a statement.

Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson also said he is opposed to placing a religious test on U.S. visitors. "Everyone visiting our country should register and be monitored during their stay as is done in many countries. I do not and would not advocate being selective on one's religion," he said in a statement.

Former tech CEO Carly Fiorina said Trump's "overreaction" is as bad as Obama's "under reaction."

"President Obama isn't prepared to do anything, which is clearly foolish, but Donald Trump always plays on everyone's worst instincts and fears. And saying we're not going to let a single Muslim into this country is a dangerous overreaction," she said in Waterloo, Iowa.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tweeted: "Donald Trump is unhinged. His 'policy' proposals are not serious."

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie slammed Trump's proposal in a radio interview. "This is the kind of thing that people say when they have no experience and don't know what they are talking about."

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham called on every presidential candidate to "do the right thing & condemn @Realdonaldtrump's statement."

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said, "This is just more of the outrageous divisiveness that characterises his every breath and another reason why he is entirely unsuited to lead the United States."