President Obama Slams Donald Trump Over His Anti-Muslim Rhetoric

“We hear language that singles out immigrants and suggests entire religious communities are complicit in violence. Where does this stop?”


A visibly angry President Barack Obama launched a direct attack on Donald Trump on Tuesday, saying the presumptive GOP nominee’s anti-Muslim rhetoric “betrays the very values that America stands for.”

For months Trump has called for a ban on allowing Muslims into the United States, and he implied during a speech on Monday that Muslim communities are sheltering terrorists, including the perpetrators of the Orlando and San Bernardino shootings, from police. Obama said such comments are not only anti-American but help ISIS and other terrorist groups by alienating Muslims in the United States and around the world.

“Where does this stop?” Obama asked. “Do Republican officials actually agree with this? Because that’s not the America we want. It’s doesn’t reflect our democratic ideals. It won’t make us more safe. It will make us less safe, fueling ISIL’s notion that the West hates Muslims.” ISIS has already produced recruiting videos featuring Trump’s comments on Muslims and immigration this year.

Obama also attacked Trump’s demand that he and Hillary Clinton use the phrase “radical Islam” more. Trump and other Republicans have claimed that the administration is intentionally downplaying the role of Islam in terrorist attacks, but Obama angrily denounced this criticism as a frivolous talking point. “What exactly would using this label accomplish?” Obama asked “What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIL less committed to trying to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is none of the above…This is a political distraction.”

The president argued that using “radical Islam” in describing terrorist groups actually boosts their own propaganda efforts. “Groups like ISIL and Al Qaeda want to make this a war between Islam and America, or Islam and the West,” he said. “They want to claim that they are the true leaders of more than a billion Muslims around the world who reject their crazy notions. They want us to validate them.”

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IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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