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Donald Trump Pushes Back at British Petition to Bar Him

The Republican presidential contender Donald J. Trump has lashed out at a petition seeking to bar him from entering Britain, saying that politicians there should thank him rather than “pandering to
political correctness.” Mr. Trump’s comments on Monday that foreign Muslims should be barred from entering the United States prompted the online petition, which called for him to be refused entry into Britain on the basis of laws against hate speech.
The petition had garnered more than 410,000 signatures as of Thursday morning, easily passing the threshold of 100,000 supporters that requires Parliament to consider debating the issue.
Mr. Trump has also gained some support in Britain, however, and a counterpetition titled “Don't Ban Trump From the United Kingdom" had more than 10,000 signatures on Thursday. Calling the proposal to bar Mr. Trump “illogical,” the counterpetition urged Britons to “mind our own business.”
“We shouldn’t be banning people for their opinions on domestic actions in a U.S. political race that doesn’t concern us,” the petition says, noting the potential damage to the close bonds between Britain and the United States if Mr. Trump wins the presidency. Reading a statement he had released earlier in the day, the Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
Mr. Trump shot back on Wednesday against his critics in Britain, saying that the proposed ban had made him reconsider his investments in Britain.

“U.K. politicians should be thanking me instead of pandering to political correctness,” the newspaper The Daily Telegrah quoted him as saying. “ I only said what needed to be said, and when I am elected no one will be tougher or smarter than me. I will work very hard and effectively to defeat terrorism.”

In criticizing British politicians, Mr. Trump invoked his investments in Scotland, including Trump International Golf Links, a golf course in Aberdeen, and his investment in the redevelopment of Turnberry Resort, a luxury resort on the Ayrshire coast in Scotland overlooking the Irish Sea.
“If they were going to do this, they should have informed me prior to my major investment in this £200 million development, which will totally revitalize that vast region of Scotland,” he said.
The petition, however, was originated on Nov. 28 by Suzanne Kelly, who writes for a community website in Aberdeen and has been investigating his construction of the golfing development in the face of local opposition, The Guardian reported, more than two weeks before Mr. Trump made his remarks about Muslims.

In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revoked Mr. Trump’s status as a business ambassador to Scotland, and Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen stripped Mr. Trump of an honorary degree.
Prime Minister David Cameron, of the Conservative Party, castigated Mr. Trump’s position as “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong,” while J.K. Rowling, the British author of the best-selling Harry Potter books, has described Mr. Trump as worse than the series’ arch-villain, Lord Voldemort.

A London mayoral candidate, Zac Goldsmith, a conservative, called Mr. Trump “repellent” and “one of the most malignant figures in modern politics,” according to news reports.
In a separate interview with CNN Tonight on Wednesday, Mr. Trump said he was “doing good for the Muslims.” “Many Muslim friends of mine are in agreement with me. They say, ‘Donald, you brought something up to the fore that is so brilliant and so fantastic.”

He said “one of the most important people in Middle East” had called him on Wednesday to say “Donald, you’re doing a great service.” But the global fury over Mr. Trump has continued. In an apparent jab at Mr. Trump, Muhammad Ali, 73, the former boxing world champion, who converted to Islam in the 1970s, said it was necessary for Muslims to stand up to those who conflated Islam with radicalism.

“We as Muslims have to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda,” Mr. Ali said in a statement titled “Presidential Candidates Proposing to Ban Muslim Immigration to the United States,” which did not identify Mr. Trump by name.

He added: “Speaking as someone who has never been accused of political correctness, I believe that our political leaders should use their position to bring understanding about the religion of Islam and clarify that these misguided murderers have perverted people’s views on what Islam really is.”
The petition to bar Mr. Trump from entering Britain has garnered more signatures than a recent petition against airstrikes on Syria and a petition calling to legalize the sale of marijuana, according to the British Parliament’s website. But so far, it has received less support than a petition calling for Britain to accept more asylum seekers and increase support for refugees in Britain, which received 446,505 signatures.


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