WASHINGTON : Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said his Muslim friends are "so happy" he is discussing the issue of fundamentalism - but he acknowledged they do not support his proposal to ban Muslim immigration to the US

"I have many friends that are Muslims, and I will tell you, they are so happy that I did this because they know they have a problem," Trump told CNN in an interview that aired Sunday on "State of the Union." He claimed that his relations with the Muslim community are "excellent".

"They support a ban on Muslims entering the US?" the anchorman asked. "No, they said it's about time that somebody spoke up as to radicalism," Trump responded. "You have radicalism in this country. It's here, and it's trying to come through."

Trump continued to emphasize his Muslim friends' concern about terrorism. "When my friends call me up, and they call me up very strongly, and they say - these are Muslims - and they say, 'It's something, Donald, that has to be talked about,'" he said. "But they don't support the ban?" the anchorman asked.

"Not really. I mean, why would they support the ban?" Trump answered. "But without the ban, you're not going to make the point. You're not going to be able to make the point."

Trump claimed he's been told he's doing Muslims "a favour." "Again, my relationship with the Muslim community is excellent. I've had people call me at the highest level saying, 'You're doing us a favour' because they know they have a problem very well. They really know they have a problem," he said.

But Trump's Muslim friends aren't the only people who oppose the temporary ban against Muslims. A majority of US adults oppose Donald Trump's plan to ban all Muslims from entering the country, according to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Meanwhile, Mosques around the United States are carefully increasing security amid growing concerns of hate crimes against American Muslims following the mass shootings in California and Paris.

The call by Trump to ban Muslims from entering the United States only intensified anti-Muslim sentiments and Islamophobia across the country.

According to media reports, the increasing safety measures at Islamic centers include hiring armed guards and working with law enforcement agencies to prevent attacks on Muslim worshippers.

At the East Plano Islamic Center near Dallas, Texas, Nadim Bashir, the imam, said the mosque had hired an armed security guard ever since the Nov. 13 Paris attacks.  "We're just trying to ramp up our efforts in the community and get a better name," Bashir said.

A mosque in Corona, California, a working-class suburb of Los Angeles, has spent $10,000 over the past two weeks to increase security.

Some mosques like the All Dulles Area Muslim Society in Virginia say they have struggled to hire and keep security guards. "Security guards resigned because they were fearful of getting hurt in the backlash," said Rizwan Jaka, chairman of the mosque.

The mosque has now hired armed guards and the imam of the mosque, Mohamed Magid, said security had been increased for programs in which children take part. "We are concerned about the feeling in the larger community about Muslims," he said.

The increased security comes as Muslim Americans struggle with the fallout from the attack in San Bernardino, California, and terror attacks in Paris.