There have been several occasions when Donald Trump’s knowledge about the wider world has been called into question.
Last year, he famously was unable to answer a conservative radio host who asked him to name the leaders of the militant groups Isis, Hezbollah, the al-Nusra Front and Al-Qaeda.
Now, Mr Trump has indicated that he only possesses limited knowledge about India, the world’s largest democracy and an increasingly important trading and strategic partner for the US.
At a fund-raising event on Saturday in New Jersey organised by the Hindu Republican Coalition, Mr Trump said: “I am a big fan of Hindu, and I am a big fan of India. Big, big fan.” (Hindu is the name of the religion, while those who follow it are Hindus.)
Earlier, in an interview with India’s NDTV channel, Mr Trump appeared to suggest he was not aware that India also had large Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Jain, and Buddhist populations.
Indeed, a census in 2011 found that at least 14 per cent of the country’s population - 172m - identify as Muslims.
“I have great respect for Hindus. I have so many friends that are Hindu. They are great people, amazing entrepreneurs,” he said.
Asked by the interviewer why he was only talking about Hindus, and not India’s other religions, he quickly tried to cover his error
“I’ll be honest, I have great respect for India. I actually have jobs going up in India, tremendously successful. It is an amazing country,” he said.
Asked whether he still wanted to stop all Muslims from entering the US, a proposal he made during the campaign he said: “We have to have extreme vetting before we let people in.”
He added: “Something is going on that’s not a positive force. We are going to be looking very much at certain areas of the world. We have to very careful with radical Islamic terror. We can be politically correct and say it doesn't matter but it does matter.”
NDTV reported that the event in New Jersey also saw some supporters of Mr Trump using racist slurs at protesters, who were chanting “Trump means hate”.
The channel said that when his supporters surrounded them, pushing aggressively close, one Indian woman objected. A white man in a baseball cap shouted. "This is a Trump rally. Get the [expletive] out of here!"
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