If Donald Trump has done just one right thing after assuming power as the president of the United States, it is his selection of H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser.
When it comes to Islam and terrorism, McMaster, a respected Army lieutenant general, has strikingly different views from his boss and short-lived predecessor, Michael Flynn, and it’s obviously a good thing.
The primary reason being the fact that McMaster’s approach is not fueled by bigotry.
Just recently, he reportedly told staff at the White House the term “radical Islamic terrorism” is troubling because the so-called Islamic terrorists are fundamentally "un-Islamic."
"Muslims who commit terrorist acts are perverting their religion," he said, according to The New York Times.
The statement is a huge deal coming from the top aide of a president who, before and after winning the election, has cited radical Islamic terrorism as the biggest threat facing the United States over and over again.
In addition, McMaster’s views are also in contrast with most of the members on Trump’s national security team that includes the likes of Steve Bannon, a white nationalist who is obsessed with a war between the “Judeo-Christian West” and “Islamic fascism;” Stephen Miller, who developed anti-Islamic views as a student at Duke University; and Mike Pompeo, who, like Bannon, is also a Christian zealot obsessed with a conflict between Islam and Christianity. Pompeo also has ties to notorious Islamophobes like Frank Gaffney. The latest addition is Sebastian Gorka, the former national security editor at conservative news site Breitbart News, who has been branded an “anti-Muslim extremist” by many.
Even Flynn, who held McMaster’s position briefly, had called Islam a “cancer” as a whole.
McMaster is, therefore an oddity in Trump’s cabinet but a welcome one.
He has the president’s ear on all important foreign policy matters but it’s going to be a challenging task for him because, as discussed above, a majority of Trump’s top aides paint all Muslims with same brush of extremism.
That’s probably why McMaster is reportedly considering “a reorganization of the White House foreign policy team that would give him control of Homeland Security and guarantee full access to the military and intelligence agencies.”
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Kevin Lamarque