Speed Reads

Trump Travels Abroad

Trump calls for unity in Saudi speech, denounces 'Islamic extremism, and the Islamicists, and Islamic terror of all kinds'

President Trump on Sunday delivered his much-anticipated speech on Islam and the war on terror before leaders representing 50 Muslim-majority nations in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Trump began by announcing his intention to share "a message of friendship, hope, and love" in "the heart of the Muslim world," promising the United States would "not seek to impose our way of life on others."

He soon pivoted to the subject of terrorism, calling for cooperation and regional self-responsibility to fight "Islamic extremism, and the Islamicists, and Islamic terror of all kinds" (a list used in lieu of the "radical Islamic terrorism" phrase Trump touted on the campaign trail.) "We can only overcome this evil if the forces of good are united and strong, and if everyone in this room does their fair share and fulfills their part of the burden," Trump said. "Terrorism has spread all across the world, but the path to peace begins right here. … A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and drive out the extremists."

Trump called on religious leaders to "make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will bring you no glory ... if you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty. Your life will be brief, and your soul will be fully condemned."

On the political front, he praised the U.S.-Saudi arms and business deals announced the day before, and thanked a number of Muslim-majority nations for opposing terrorism. On the subject of refugees, whom Trump has made clear he does not want to come to the United States, the president argued Middle Eastern countries should seek to retain this "human capital" for their own benefit.

Trump's friendly rhetoric did not extend to the Iran and Syria regimes, which Trump condemned for supporting "extremist groups that spread chaos and destruction" and committing atrocities. "Responsible nations must work together to end the humanitarian crisis in Syria," he said.

The question of our era, Trump concluded, is "Will we be indifferent in the presence of evil?" With unity among the assembled states, he argued, "nobody, absolutely nobody, can beat us." Watch Trump's entire speech below, beginning around the 1:40 mark. Bonnie Kristian