NEW DELHI: Real estate mogul and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is in the dock regarding his controversial comments that called for blocking Muslims from entering the United States. Trump proposed the radical measure after last week's California shooting spree that involved two Muslims who authorities say were radicalised.

The backlash to Trump’s comments has come not only from political leaders -- including prime ministers of France and the United Kingdom, Canada's foreign minister, the United Nations as well as a host of West Asian countries -- but from thinkers, entrepreneurs, corporate chains and the public at large.

In the UK for instance, 380,000 people have signed a petition calling on the British government to ban Trump from visiting the country. Demand to back the petition was so high that the government website hosting it crashed several times on Wednesday. The petition, signed by people from every area of Britain according to an analysis, is set to be debated in the House of Commons.

British Prime Minister David Cameron hit out at trump, calling the statement "divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong.” Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said in a tweet that Trump's call was "an attack on democratic values" and an "affront to common humanity.”

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls wrote on Twitter, “Mr. Trump, like others, fuels hatred: our ONLY enemy is radical Islam.” Canada’s foreign affairs minister Stephane Dion said, “It’s something we can’t accept in Canada. . . We have never been as far removed from what we’ve just heard in the United States.”

Egypt’s official religious body, Dar al-Ifta, said Trump’s remarks amounted to “hate rhetoric,” adding that they were “extremist” and “threatened societal peace.”

Tahir Ashrafi, the head of the Ulema Council, Pakistan’s biggest council of Muslim clerics, said that Trump’s stance promotes violence. “If some Muslim leader says there is a war between Christians and Muslims, we condemn him. So why should we not condemn an American if he says that?”

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu joined the long list of international leaders to reject Trump’s call. “Prime Minister Netanyahu rejects Donald Trump's recent remarks about Muslims,” a statement released by Netanyahu’s office read. As Trump is set to visit Israel, Opposition Israeli politicians have opposed Trump’s visit, with Arab Knesset member Issawi Frej asking the interior minister not to let the American politician enter the country. “Imagine that a country or a candidate would say entrance to Jews is forbidden, the whole world would stand up in protest, saying this is a racist anti-Semite,” Frej told Israeli Radio.

On home soil, Democrat Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders had a hard hitting response to Trump. "What somebody like a Trump is trying to do is to divide us up," Sanders said. "A few months ago, we're supposed to hate Mexicans; now we're supposed to hate Muslims. That kind of crap is not going to work in the United States of America."

Sanders took to Facebook to say, “I'll tell you what does worry me. Ever since Trump has been opening his mouth, you're seeing all these bitter people, latent racists who are becoming emboldened. You're seeing some ugly stuff happening around this country.

What we have got to do immediately is to say that racism and xenophobia are totally unacceptable and we will stand with Muslims and undocumented people in this country. We can't allow racism and xenophobia to gain traction.”

The White House called on the Republican party to denounce Trump, with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson adding that Trump’s flagrant comments will undermine U.S. security. The rhetoric, he added, was “entirely inconsistent” with the values “that were central to the founding of this country”.

The mayor of St Petersburg in Florida, Rick Kriseman, said he was banning Trump from the city “until we fully understand the dangerous threat posed by all Trumps”.New Jersey governor Chris Christie said Trump’s comments reflected “a ridiculous position and one that won’t even be productive”. “We do not need to resort to that type of activity nor should we,” Christie told conservative radio show host Michael Medved. “We need to cooperate with peaceful Muslim Americans who want to give us intelligence against those who are radicalized.”

Even Trump’s own party Presidential candidates joined in the criticism, with Jeb Bush describing Trump as “unhinged” and Lindsey Graham calling on everyone seeking the presidency to denounce the plan. Former vice-president Dick Cheney told a conservative radio host the call “goes against everything we believe in”. Florida senator and presidential candidate Marco Rubio too said that “I disagree with Donald Trump’s latest proposal. His habit of making offensive and outlandish statements will not bring Americans together… The next President better be somebody who can unite our country to face the great challenges of the 21st Century.”

Criticism has come from the non-political class as well. Khalaf al Habtoor, a self-made construction tycoon in Dubai formerly on Forbes’ billionaires list, told NBC News that he regretted his previous support for Trump. “He is creating a hatred between Muslims and the United States of America.” Al Habtoor added that extremists like ISIS “will thank Mr. Trump for his comments—this is very dangerous, what he is doing to the United States.”

One of the Middle East's largest retail chains, Lifestyle, announced that it will be banning Trump’s products. "Lifestyle values and respects the sentiments of all its customers," parent group Landmark said. "In light of the recent statements made by the presidential candidate in the US media, we have suspended sale of all products from the Trump Home decor range," Sachin Mundhwa, chief executive of the Landmark Group, added.

Alex Malouf, the vice-Chair of the Middle East Public Relations Association told Middle East Eye that Trump had quickly become a "very toxic" brand. “I can’t see Trump apologising which would hopefully defuse the situation and I see it getting worse. Seeing how he digs himself getting into a hole I don’t see how he will be able to maintain business contacts in the region in the medium to long term," Dubai-based Malouf said.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a statement via his social networking site that indicated a rejection of Trump’s remarks. “I want to add my voice in support of Muslims in our community and around the world. After the Paris attacks and hate this week, I can only imagine the fear Muslims feel that they will be persecuted for the actions of others. As a Jew, my parents taught me that we must stand up against attacks on all communities. Even if an attack isn't against you today, in time attacks on freedom for anyone will hurt everyone. If you're a Muslim in this community, as the leader of Facebook I want you to know that you are always welcome here and that we will fight to protect your rights and create a peaceful and safe environment for you. Having a child has given us so much hope, but the hate of some can make it easy to succumb to cynicism. We must not lose hope. As long as we stand together and see the good in each other, we can build a better world for all people,” Zuckerberg posted.

Even writer JK Rowling was miffed, tweeting that Voldemort -- the villain in the Harry Potter series that Rowling authored -- was nowhere as bad as Trump.

Trump meanwhile has defended his statement. “I am the least racist person that you have ever met," he said in an interview on CNN News. “I'm doing good for the Muslims…many Muslim friends of mine are in agreement with me. They say, 'Donald, you brought something up to the fore that is so brilliant and so fantastic.'”

Trump added that whilst world leaders, including David Cameron, the UN Secretary-General and Benjamin Netanyahu have criticised him, the American people have not. “The group that is not criticising me is the public,” he said. “The public agrees with what I said. They saw those two animals (in San Bernardino) last week go out and shoot people.”

Trump clearly isn’t reading the headlines plastered across US media nor following the majority view on social media sites like Twitter -- where voices opposing the real estate mogul’s controversial comments are loud and clear.

Take the latest cover of the New York Daily News:

The quote refers to a famous poem by Martin Niemöller, which criticized German intellectuals' unwillingness to stand up to the Nazis as the regime cracked down on the political freedoms.

Or enter “Donald Trump” in the search tab on Twitter and tally the supportive versus the critical comments against each other.