During President Donald Trump’s first speech to Congress, he condemned the recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks and spoke of allying with Muslim nations — but a top White House aide declines to explicitly say whether the president believes Islam is a religion.
In a recent interview, Sebastian Gorka, who serves as one of the president’s top advisers and who is known for strong positions on Islam, spoke about Trump’s controversial use of the term “radical Islamic terrorism.”
Gorka also went ahead and insisted the president must use the term because “the threat has been obfuscated for eight years under Obama.”
“We’re not going to listen to so-called terrorism experts who were linked in any way to the last eight years of disastrous counter-terrorism,” he added.
Steve Inskeep, the NPR reporter, asked Gorka pretty jarring question after the joint session: “Does the president believe Islam is a religion?”
Gorka decided not answer the question in one way or the other and said, “This is not a theological seminary. This is the White House. We aren’t going to get into theological debates — if the president has a certain attitude to a certain religion you can ask him … We are talking about national security … and totalitarian ideologies that drive the threats.”
The conversation further got heated when Inskeep asked, “Is Islam itself the enemy?”
To this question, the president’s top aide said, “Well, of course it isn't. That would be asinine. As I've written in my book, this isn't a war with Islam, this is a war in Islam. As the king of Jordan, King Abdullah, as the president of the most populous Arab nation in the world, President Sisi, has stated, this is a war for the heart of Islam.”
Trump’s top aide further added that the president will soon issue a new executive order barring people from predominately Muslim countries from coming to the U.S.
“We know that there will be jihadis coming from those seven nations trying to do us harm. We’re not going to wait until 82 people are mowed down by a truck here in America as they were in France,” he said.
Gorka’s remarks don’t come as a surprise because the president he serves had called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” during his election campaign.
During the presidential campaign, he also said, “Islam hates us and that it’s very hard to separate radical Islam from all of Islam because you don’t know who’s who.”
President Donald Trump’s controversial Muslim ban also speaks volumes about his views regarding Muslims and Islam.
Seb Gorka on NPR just now, won’t say the White House believes Islam is a religion. “We won’t get into theological debates.”— Kia Makarechi (@Kia_Mak) March 1, 2017
@happy_catholic moreover his minion Gorka declined to answer if Islam was a religion...thus he sees them as a political/terrorist sect— PoliticAlBor (@PoliticAlBor) March 2, 2017