Real estate tycoon Donald Trump said Thursday that he would "certainly implement" a database system aimed at tracking Muslims in America.
The Republican frontrunner's remarks came in response to a question from an NBC News reporter as he campaigned in Iowa.
"Should there be a database system that tracks Muslims here in this country?" the reporter asked.
"There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases," Trump replied. "We should have a lot of systems. And today you can do it."
After being pressed, Trump said, "I would certainly implement that. Absolutely."
The reporter continued to question Trump on the idea.
"How would that work?" he asked.
"It would stop people from coming in illegally," Trump answered as he signed autographs. "We have to stop people from coming into this country illegally."
"Specifically, how do you actually get them registered into the database?" the reporter quipped back.
"It would just be good management," Trump said.
When asked to explain how the program would be different than Nazi Germany's requirement Jews register with the state, he replied: "You tell me."
Trump's comments were immediately condemned by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
"We're kind of at a loss for words," the group's spokesperson, Ibrahim Hooper, told MSNBC. "Where do you go from here? If he’s willing to put people in a database and force them to carry special identification based on their religious status – where else do you go from there? What’s the next step there? Internment camps?”
“What else can you compare this to except to prewar Nazi Germany?” adding, “There’s no other comparison, and [Trump] seems to think that’s perfectly okay.”
Follow the author of this story on Twitter and Facebook: