New York, 3 Rabiul Akhir 1438/12 January 2017 (MINA) – Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump’s pick to serve as secretary of state, said on Wednesday that he did not believe the United States should implement a blanket ban against Muslims, the Huffington Post reported.
“I think what’s important [is] that we are able to make a judgment about the people that are coming into the country and so I do not support a blanket-type rejection of any particular group of people,” the former Exxon Mobil CEO said during his confirmation hearing.
“Clearly, we have serious challenges to be able to vet people coming into the country,” Tillerson continued, citing global instability, migration and the fact that many refugees do not have documents. “I don’t think we can just close our eyes and ignore that. We have to be very clear-eyed about recognizing that threat and developing a means to deal with it.”
Tillerson said he would require more information on how the government would approach constructing a registry of Muslims before he would consider lending his support to creating one.
“I would need to have a lot more information around how such an approach would even be constructed. And if it were a tool for vetting, then it probably extends to other people as well — other groups that are threats to the U.S.,” he said.
Trump has not formally called for the creation of a database of Muslims living in the United States. However, he has expressed his openness to the possibility — though in somewhat unclear terms — when questioned about the prospect by reporters.
Asked in November during an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week” whether he would rule out such a database, he said “No, not at all.”
“We want to go with watchlists. We want to go with databases. And we have no choice,” Trump said.(T/RE1/RS05)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)