Trump Calls On Muslim Nations To Unite In Fight Against Terrorism
President Trump focused on unifying Muslim nations in the fight against terrorism in a Sunday speech on Islam in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, shying away from his harsher comments against the religion on the campaign trail.
Mr. Trump said the U.S. will not "impose" an American way of life on the Muslim-majority nations represented in the room where he gave his speech, while calling on them to unite in the global fight against terrorism.
Notably, the president did not utter the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism," words former President Obama declined to use during his time in office but that Mr. Trump used frequently on the campaign trail. Mr. Trump emphasized the fight against terrorism isn't a battle between different faiths, but "battle between good and evil" -- and a battle that other Muslim nations must lead. The president called on Muslim nations to "drive them (terrorists) out of your Holy Land, and drive the out of this earth."
"Muslim nations must be willing to take on terrorism and send its wicked ideology into oblivion," Mr. Trump said.
"Barbarism will bring you no glory," Mr. Trump continued. "Piety to evil will bring you no dignity."
"If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty. Your life will be brief. And your soul will be fully condemned," the president said, in one of his strongest statements in the speech.
The president drew clear lines between the religion of Islam, and those who use Islam for extremist purposes.
"Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death," Mr. Trump said.
The president refrained from going off script, as he is often known to do, and instead largely stuck to a prepared speech that pundits said could have easily been given by another Republican president like George W. Bush.
The president's speech also referenced the $110 billion arms deal he signed with Saudi Arabia Saturday, a move that strengthens the alliance between the two countries in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and further distances the U.S. from Iran. The president had harsh words for Iran, Saudi Arabia's adversary, in his speech, condemning the country's support of terrorism. The president called on the representatives of nations present to "isolate" Iran.
Mr. Trump ended his speech with a call to bring about another "renaissance" to the Middle East, the birthplace of civilization and a place so "rich" in natural resources.
"If we leave this magnificent room unified and determined to do what it takes to destroy the terror that threatens the world, then there is no limit to the great future our citizens will have," Mr. Trump concluded.
Later on Sunday, the president will host a Twitter forum with young Saudis. After the stop in Saudi Arabia, Mr. Trump is scheduled to visit Israel, the West Bank, the Vatican and Belgium.
The president's first speech abroad comes amid political turmoil back home. Moments after Air Force One took off on Friday, reports broke that the president told Russian diplomats that firing "nut job" FBI Director James Comey was a relief, and that a current senior adviser in the White House is a significant person of interest in the law enforcement probe into any connections between Russia and Trump associates.
Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was ousted in February for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russian officials, and Mr. Trump reportedly asked Comey to drop his investigation into Flynn. Last week, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller will be the special counsel in charge of the FBI's Russia investigation.
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