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Sun May 21, 2017, 08:13 AM

 

Trump Begins His Religion World Tour

The American president’s first international trip has been explicitly framed in terms of religious identity.

EMMA GREEN
MAY 20, 2017

When the country-music star Toby Keith performs in Riyadh on Saturday, will he sing of red Solo cups and drunk Americans before his conservative Muslim hosts? As he takes the stage alongside an Arabian lute player to honor Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, will Keith explain, as he does, that “(putting) a boot in your ass” is “the American way”?

The concert is a fitting image at the start of a fraught trip. On his way to the NATO and G-7 summits, the U.S. president will visit Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Rome—three high-stakes stops to symbolize three major world religions. While the particulars of this trip, much like a male-only Toby Keith concert, may be awkward, Trump’s itinerary is consistent with some of his emerging rhetoric on international affairs. This president has put counterterrorism at the center of his foreign policy—and religious identity, specifically around Islam, is at the core of that effort.

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster alluded to the symbolism in a recent press briefing, noting that “no president has ever visited the homelands and holy sites of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslims faiths all on one trip.” And Trump himself originally announced the trip during a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, where he signed an executive order on religious freedom. In Saudi Arabia, “the custodian of the two holiest sites in Islam,” he said, the administration “will begin to construct a new foundation of cooperation and support with our Muslim allies to combat extremism, terrorism, and violence, and to embrace a more just and hopeful future for young Muslims in their countries.” McMaster later expanded on this: Trump’s goal is to send a “message that the United States and the entire civilized world expects our Muslim allies to take a strong stand against radical Islamist ideology,” which “uses a perverted interpretation of religion to justify crime against all humanity,” he said. Trump will also call on Muslim leaders to “promote a peaceful vision of Islam,” McMaster added.

The civilizational language is striking. McMaster implied that “the entire civilized world” did not include the “Muslim allies” who were, he suggested, responsible for containing the radicals in their midst. This diplomatic trip is quite literally being framed as a battle between good and evil, a bid to end the “crime[s] against all humanity” McMaster described. The way to build an alliance against evil, the administration suggests, is to reach out to fellow peoples—not just strategic allies, but civilizations with a moral stake in defeating the “perverted” enemy.

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/05/trump-israel-saudi-arabia-vatican/527310/

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Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply Trump Begins His Religion World Tour (Original post)
rug May 2017 OP
HopeAgain May 2017 #1
rug May 2017 #2
Bretton Garcia May 2017 #3
guillaumeb May 2017 #4
Bretton Garcia May 2017 #5
guillaumeb May 2017 #6
Bretton Garcia May 2017 #7

Response to rug (Original post)

Sun May 21, 2017, 08:32 AM

1. I can't imagine a world leader more ill-suited.

This could turn into a real shit-show.

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #1)

Sun May 21, 2017, 08:35 AM

2. He makes Idi Amin look like a statesman.

 

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Response to HopeAgain (Reply #1)

Sun May 21, 2017, 12:25 PM

3. But how can Trump fail with Gen. McMaster as his chief theologan?

Gen McMaster telling us with the usual religious authority of American generals, what is real religion, vs. what is "perverted" or fake Islam.

😎😖😦😏👹🙉👀👀✌

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Response to Bretton Garcia (Reply #3)

Sun May 21, 2017, 08:23 PM

4. If Trump has a theologian in chief,

will he also be hiring an Inquisitor in Chief?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #4)

Mon May 22, 2017, 02:24 PM

5. "Donald" means "ruler of this world"

I'd say he's also his own evil theologian in chief. As evident in his many current remarks on Islam.

Under him are his generals. Who are the Inquisitors. Who seek out and militarily execute heretics who depart from Trump holy doctrine.

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Response to Bretton Garcia (Reply #5)

Mon May 22, 2017, 09:18 PM

6. Trump, like Bush the Lesser, desperately needs a war to unite the country

behind his powerful manly leadership.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #6)

Tue May 23, 2017, 12:49 AM

7. Yes. A central principle of classic fascism, Nazism

Since Korea though, he may be backing off that slightly. When you add up the physical cost of nuclear war, it doesn't look like such a good deal.

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