WASHINGTON – If Donald Trump were to become president, he’d be starting off on the wrong foot with many of Americas’ allies.
At least that’s the indication after a number of world political and business leaders — including some of the nation’s most important allies — have spoken out against Trump since he proposed banning Muslims from entering the United States. On Friday, a member of the Saudi royal family even went so far as to call Trump a “disgrace.”
Perhaps most prominently, British Prime Minister David Cameron put out a rare statement criticizing the GOP presidential front-runner’s statements, calling them “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong.”
Trump also ran afoul of the mayor of London, who took issue with the real estate mogul’s comments that parts of London are such strongholds of radical Islam that police won’t go into them. London Mayor Boris Johnson dismissed Trump’s comments as “complete and utter nonsense.”
And a petition to ban Trump from traveling to the U.K. had nearly 600,000 signatures Friday afternoon.
The United Kingdom is one of America’s closest allies and collaborates with the U.S. on everything from world affairs to highly sensitive intelligence.
The leader of another key partner of the U.S., Israel, distanced himself from Trump. Shortly after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office repudiated the proposal, Trump canceled a planned December trip to visit Israel and meet with Netanyahu.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu rejects Donald Trump’s recent remarks about Muslims,” a statement issued by his office said earlier this week.
The foreign minister of America’s neighbor to the north also publicly rejected Trump’s comments.
“It’s something that we cannot accept in Canada,” Stephane Dion said.
Trump has also been called out by other Western allies, including politicians in France and the Netherlands. France’s prime minister, who is less powerful than the nation’s president, said Trump “feeds the hatred and the confusion,” and Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders called the brash billionaire’s remarks “very unhelpful and very discriminatory.”
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls also compared Trump to the country’s far-right nationalist party, but even the party’s leader, Marine Le Pen, rejected the comparison.
“Seriously, have you ever heard me say something like that?” she said when asked about Trump comparisons in a TV interview, according to The New York Times. “I defend all the French people in France, regardless of their origin, regardless of their religion.”
And it’s not just the West: Voices in the Arab and Muslim world have also pushed back against Trump.
On Friday, a member of the Saudi royal family and business magnate tweeted that Trump was a “disgrace.”
“.@realDonaldTrump You are a disgrace not only to the GOP but to all America. Withdraw from the U.S presidential race as you will never win,” Alwaleed Bin Talal wrote.
The Dubai-based home decor chain Lifestyle is removing all Trump-branded products from its 195 stores across the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Tanzania. Trump’s name and image were also stripped from his golf project in Dubai amid the tumult.
Trump also received a warning that he would “not be welcome” in Muslim countries from Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker, who told CNN that he is friends with Trump.
“I can say that the reaction as a Muslim, I have taken offense to this, and especially when it is coming out from a friend of mine,” he said. “I didn’t expect him to be so naÃ¯ve to make such statements.”
The proposal also gave fodder to countries who are not allied with the U.S., with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani calling out Trump, without using his name, during a parliament meeting.
“Under the pretext of fighting terrorism, some people are proposing that Muslims should not be permitted to enter other countries. We regret such remarks about Muslims,” he said. “This is while they themselves are among the sponsors and supporters of terrorism … and they are supporting terrorists.”
Trump has made his negotiating prowess and international reputation a central feature of his campaign, pledging that under his presidency relations with other countries will be strong and healthy.
He has also stood by his comments on banning Muslims, saying it’s a necessary step in the face of terrorism. His policy proposal has been widely rejected by members of both parties. – CNN