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The Perils of Trump’s Islam Speech
Read original article by Shadi Hamid on the Atlantic or read just the key points below;
- As both an American Muslim and as someone who studies Islam’s role in politics, I’ve increasingly come to appreciate just how complicated a religion Islam is, especially if you’re coming at it with Christianity as the main point of comparison.
- Trump, though, comes into the speech with much lower expectations, considering that Trump is America’s first openly Islamophobic president in at least a century.
- Saudi Arabia is a somewhat odd choice for a speech intended to promote tolerance and “moderation.” The kingdom, however, is often grouped by U.S. policymakers in the “moderate” camp, simply because it is an ally and supports American national security interests. The goal, then, is not tolerance, as much as it is finding ways to use and instrumentalize Islam and Muslims to fight terrorism.
- But perhaps the most glaring problem is the very premise of the speech—the assumption that theology holds the key to combating extremism.
- More importantly, though, the focus on religion runs the risk of distracting the U.S. from the political factors that it can more readily shape. It is no mistake that the two countries where ISIS gained the most ground were the two most riddled by civil war.