Republican presidential hopeful and real-estate magnate Donald Trump has criticized TIME magazine for its choice in the Person of the Year competition.
TIME selected German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the award, recognizing her adroit handling of the European currency and refugee crises. Merkel beat off competition from fellow finalists including the controversial Republican presidential candidate.
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TIME votes Merkel Person of the Year over Trump
Ahead of the announcement Trump took to Twitter to criticize Merkel and push his own case for the award. He claimed that he was the “big favorite” and accused Merkel of “ruining Germany.” Merkel is a regular target, and he accuses her of opening up Germany to waves of Syrian refugees that could be terrorists.
The conflict between Islamic State militants, the Syrian government and rebel groups has caused the biggest wave of migration to Europe since World War 2, and Trump is keen to keep refugees out of the United States. Germany, on the other hand, has happily taken in thousands of asylum seekers fleeing an increasingly complicated conflict.
Trump has called for the suspension of the U.S. refugee program, claiming that the new arrivals could in fact be a Trojan horse from which Islamic State terrorists will launch attacks on U.S. soil. He recently called for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S., sparking outrage around the world.
Anti-Muslim tirade provokes outrage around the world
TIME editor Nancy Gibbs announced Merkel’s victory in the Person of the Year award, with Trump coming in second behind Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. “We’ve never named a presidential candidate as person of the year,” Gibbs said of Trump.
Trump has certainly been a constant feature in news reports this year, with his latest anti-Muslim tirade drawing criticism from around the world. Trump claimed that no Muslims should be allowed to enter the U.S., and news of the proposed travel ban raced around the globe.
In the UK lawmakers will debate a possible travel ban on the Republican hopeful after an online petition gathered 100,000 signatures from people who believe that he should be prevented from entering the country. Under UK law his comments could be interpreted as hate speech and lead to a ban.