In yet another controversial jibe, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has said women in the Islamic world like wearing burqas because it is easier as they do not have to wear makeup.
During a New Hampshire rally on Monday, Trump briefly spoke about his belief that the United States imposes its own version of Western democracy upon cultures that do not necessarily want it.
Citing failed interventions in Libya and Iraq, Trump suggested it has been futile to try to export "freedom" to Muslim countries.
"I saw somebody say 'We want it over there where the women don't have to wear the you-know-what,'" Trump told the crowd, wiping his hand in front of his face to mimic the look of a burqa.
"And then I saw women interviewed. They said, 'We want to wear them, we've worn them for thousands of years. Why would anyone tell us not to?' They want to!" he was quoted as saying by CNN.
"Fact is, it's easier. You don't have to put on makeup. Look how beautiful everyone looks. Wouldn't it be easier? Right? Wouldn't that be easy?" the real-estate mogul joked.
"I tell ya, if I was a woman, I don't want to. I'd be like, bwah (gesturing the burqa), 'I'm ready, darling, let's go.' It's true!" he said. Trump has a history of making controversial remarks about immigrants and other groups.
Earlier on in his campaign, Trump had made controversial statements about Mexican immigrants and did not dispute a man's assertion that US President Barack Obama was a Muslim.
Last week Trump said the world would be a better place if dictators such as Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi were still in power.
Image: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the crowd during a campaign event in Atkinson, New Hampshire. Phoptograph: Gretchen Ertl/Reuters