Rabat - In what might strike some as the ultimate irony, US President Donald Trump is getting ready to deliver a speech on Islam during his visit to Saudi Arabia next week.
Rabat – In what might strike some as the ultimate irony, US President Donald Trump is getting ready to deliver a speech on Islam during his visit to Saudi Arabia next week.
According to National Security Advisor, HR McMaster, as part of his official visit to the kingdom Trump plans to treat his audience to a speech “… intended to unite the broader Muslim world against common enemies of all civilization and to demonstrate America’s commitment to our Muslim partners.”
McMaster continued, saying the speech will address “the need to confront radical ideology and the president’s hopes for a peaceful vision of Islam.”
The visit’s agenda will include talks with Saudi officials as well as 56 Arab and Muslim leaders. Topping the list of discussions will be combatting ISIS, the situation in Yemen, threats to global security from ballistic missiles and maritime shipping in the Red Sea. The presidential visit, Trump’s first official foray overseas, was met by humanitarian agencies with immediate and urgent appeals for aid to Yemen.
Trump will also participate in the inauguration of a centre designed to battle extremism while, at the same time, promote religious temperance. Addressing the importance of the centre, McMaster told reporters “By establishing and operating this center, our Muslim friends, including Saudi Arabia, are taking a firm stand against extremism and those who use a perverted interpretation of religion to advance their criminal and political agendas.”
What a Difference an Oath Makes
During his presidential campaign, Trump’s language regarding Saudi Arabia was, to say the least, plain. At one rally, he declared “We defend Saudi Arabia. They don’t pay us nearly what they should be paying. So, essentially, we are subsidizing all of these countries. How stupid are we? A country like Saudi Arabia wouldn’t exist for a week.”
Next week Trump will be feted at a royal banquet and has been invited to take coffee with King Salman before engaging in bilateral talks with the monarch and the crown prince and a signing ceremony for “several agreements that will further solidify U.S.-Saudi security and economic cooperation.”
Saudi Arabia was omitted from both versions of Trump’s now infamous travel bans targeting visitors to the US from predominantly Muslim countries.