President Donald Trump’s newly-minted National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said Thursday that terrorists are “un-Islamic,” according to a report published Friday by the New York Times, in a break from Trump’s views.
McMaster told National Security Council staff in a meeting that the label “radical Islamic terrorism” is not helpful and that terrorists are “un-Islamic,” the New York Times reported, citing unnamed sources who were present.
Trump has repeatedly painted Islam with a broad brush as a source of “hatred” and condemned other politicians for refusing to use the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.”
In the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015, Trump floated creating a database for Muslim Americans.
Trump refused in the same month to say whether he believed Islam was an inherently violent religion, but said “there’s something going on there.”
“There’s a lot of hatred coming out of at least a big part of it,” he said. “You see the hatred. We see it every day.”
A day after all three Democratic presidential candidates eschewed the use of the term “radical Islam” in a primary debate, Trump took to Twitter to decry their semantics.
When will President Obama issue the words RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM? He can’t say it, and unless he will, the problem will not be solved!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2015
A month later, he announced his support for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
In March 2016, Trump called Islam a source of “tremendous hatred.”
McMaster’s predecessor, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, also called Islam a “malignant cancer” and a “sick” ideology.
During his first week in office, Trump signed an executive order to temporarily bar visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.
While members of his administration claimed the order was not formulated on a “religious basis,” that was incorrect, as the order stipulated that Christians and other members of minority religions be given priority over Muslims.