U.S. must protect national security, not demonize Muslims: Clinton

WASHINGTON Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, speaking on Monday after the massacre in a Florida nightclub, said the United States must find a way to keep the country safe without demonizing Muslim Americans.

Clinton called for “statesmanship, not partisanship” in the aftermath of the shooting in Orlando while Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, urged the monitoring of mosques in the United States and reiterated his calls for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.

Fifty people, including the gunman, the U.S.-born son of Afghan immigrants, died in at the gay nightclub in what was the deadliest shooting in U.S. history.

Clinton, in several television interviews, said she would support stronger measures to prevent so-called lone wolf attacks and urged closer internet monitoring. She said she was committed to protecting the rights of Muslim Americans at the same time.

“We cannot demonize, demagogue and declare war on an entire religion. That is just dangerous,” Clinton said on the MSNBC network.

She also called for steps to prevent people who are on the U.S. no-fly list from purchasing guns and said possible restrictions on assault weapons needed to be part of the debate.

Trump plans to deliver a speech on national security at 2 p.m. EDT on Monday in New Hampshire. The topic was a change from his earlier plans to criticize Clinton and what he said was her scandal-prone past.

Trump said on CNN that the United States needed better intelligence-gathering to prevent incidents such as the Orlando massacre.

“We have to look at the mosques … and we have to look at the community,” he said. “And believe me, the community knows the people that have the potential to blow up.”

(Reporting by Washington newsroom; Editing by Caren Bohan and Bill Trott)

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