I watched a two-year-old video of Donald John Trump in which he told an interviewer that Islam “hates Americans.”
That comment has bothered me from the moment I heard it the first time.
I’ve long wondered, given what the president said at the time, why this country is full of so many Muslims. Why do people who follow the Islamic faith choose to live in a country full of those they supposedly “hate”? And, oh yes, what about Islamic Americans? How do we categorize those fellow citizens?
To me the answer is obvious. Muslims don’t “hate” Americans just because we are, um, Americans.
Muslim perverts — those who commit terrorist acts in the name of Islam — certainly do hate Americans. They also hate other Muslims.
I remember the night President Barack Obama told the world that U.S. special forces had killed Osama bin Laden. The president made it clear — just as President George W. Bush had made clear — that bin Laden wasn’t a Muslim leader. “He was a mass murderer of Muslims,” President Obama said.
I keep circling back to that notion every time I hear Donald Trump harp on this falsehood, that the Islamic faith teaches its followers to hate others who adhere to other faiths.
CNN’s Fareed Zakaria posed the question the other day to Jordanian King Abdullah about whether the president was right to say that Muslims “hate Americans.” The king said, quite simply and with eloquence, that the president needs to learn more about Islam before making any statements about what the faith teaches.
Indeed, the president needs to learn more about, oh, just about everything before he opens his mouth.