REUTERS - British Prime Minister David Cameron thinks a proposal by U.S. Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump to ban Muslims from entering the United States is divisive and wrong, his spokeswoman said on Tuesday.
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Trump was responding to last week's deadly shooting spree in California by two Muslims whom the FBI said had been radicalized. He likened his proposal to World War Two policies implemented by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt against people of Japanese, German and Italian descent.
"The PM (Prime Minister) completely disagrees with the comments made by Donald Trump, which are divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong," Cameron's spokeswoman told reporters.
Britain has an estimated 2.7 million Muslim population. Earlier this year, the government said fighting extremism was one of the defining battles of this century and announced a strategy primarily designed to counter the ideology promoted by Islamic State militants, Al-Qaida and other radical Islamists.
Britain is a close ally of the United States in the Western campaign against Islamist militants.
After Trump's remarks, the United Nations refugee agency said that election campaign rhetoric in the United States was harming a vital U.S. resettlement program for Syrian and other refugees fleeing war and persecution.