Arlen Williams
Yes, Trump did condemn radical Islamic terrorism in speech to Arab Muslims (quotes/transcript/video)
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By Arlen Williams
May 22, 2017


President Trump's speech before the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Sunday did specifically condemn what he has before called "radical Islamic terrorism," despite what we have heard from reporters and pundits for days. That he did not choose to string those words together in that order is simply beside the point.

Consider the following. Very clearly, he was speaking to Muslims about Muslims, that is, believers in Islam. Further, he directly condemned the "extremism," or the "radicalization," or "fanatical" interpretation of their ideology and the "terrorism" concomitant with it. So, there you have it. In the following excerpts, emphasis is added to make the point.

Trump began to draw the lines early in the address, "But in sheer numbers, the deadliest toll has been exacted on the innocent people of Arab, Muslim, and Middle-Eastern nations. They have born the brunt of the killings and the worst of the destruction in this wave of fanatical violence."

But what fanaticism and violence did Trump describe? Very soon he specified: "The true toll of ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and so many others, must be counted not only in the number of dead. It also must be counted in generations of vanished dreams." Later in the speech, he added Iran and its ally/puppet, Syria to the litany. What major strand do these terrorist entities have in common, but Islam?

Further quotations from the president, spelling out what all in the know realize he has addressed as "radical Islamic terrorism":
    But this untapped potential, this tremendous cause for optimism, is held at bay by bloodshed and terror. There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it.

    Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person, and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith. Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death.


    If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen. Terrorism's devastation of life will continue to spread. Peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence. And the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered.

    If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing – then not only will we be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God.

    [...]

    Starving terrorists of their territory, of their funding, and the false allure of their craven ideology will be the basis for easily defeating [them].

    [...]

    But you can only unlock this future if the citizens of the Middle-East are freed from extremism, terror, and violence.

    [...]

    Will we be indifferent in the presence of evil? Will we protect our citizens from its violent ideology? Will we let its venom spread through our societies? Will we let it destroy the most holy sites on earth? If we do not confront this deadly terror, we know what the future will bring: more suffering, more death, and more despair. But if we act, 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.
Semantically, it should also be noted that where Trump spoke of this violent form of Islam (commonly singled out as political and violent Islamism, or Jihadism) free of the word "radical," he lays the issue more squarely at the feet of any and all Muslims, not less so, letting them sort through the crisis. When a sect presents a radical version, after all, it means to offer to change something at its root. But Trump at times let the roots simply lay wherever they may be found.

Since there are many passages in the Quran which call for violence, since its eschatological promise and aim is violent, and since Muslims are commanded to emulate the (extortive and violent) life of Mohamed, it is only right to express humanity's concerns of Islamic violence, whether divergent or central, and whether episodic or systematic, to all Muslims.

Transcript of the address | Video:



© Arlen Williams

 

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