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President Trump
Speaks Truth to Islam

President Trump, in an important speech on terrorism to Muslim leaders in Saudi Arabia yesterday said: "Terrorists do not worship God. They worship death."

"There can be no coexistence with this violence," said the President. "There can be no tolerating it. No accepting it. No executing it. And no ignoring it. Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person, and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith."

Addressing summit host Saudi King Salman, Trump said he hoped "today we begin a new chapter that will bring lasting benefits to all of our citizens."

"I stand before you as a representative of the American people to deliver a message of friendship and hope and love. That is why I chose to make my first foreign visit a trip to the heart of the Muslim world. To the nation that serves as custodians of the two holiest sites in the islamic faith."

"Terrorists do not worship God. They worship death."

"America is a sovereign nation," Trump continued. "And our first priority is always the safety and security of our citizens. We are not here to lecture. We are not here to tell other people how to live. What to do. Who to be. Or how to worship. Instead we are here to offer partnership based to shared interest and values to pursue a better future for all of us."

Trump said "with God's help this summit will mark the beginning of the end for those who practice terror and spread its vile creed. At the same time, we pray this special gathering may some day be remembered as the beginning of peace in the Middle East, and maybe all over the world. But this future can only be achieved through defeating terrorism and the ideology that drives it."

"If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing," added Trump, "then not only will we will be judged by our people, not only will be judged by history, but we will be judged by God. This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects or different civilizations. This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life and decent people all in the name of religion."

Saudi King Salman in his opening remarks said that he shared with Trump the feelings of "constructive cooperation to reject extremism, work on fighting all forms of terrorism, stop its financing and its propagation, dry up its sources and stand firm in confronting this scourge that poses a danger to all of humanity."

Leading up to the speech, observers speculated as to whether Trump would use the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism" in his remarks.

Leading up to the speech, observers speculated as to whether Trump would use the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism" in his remarks. Prior to his appearance, the White House released excerpts indicating Trump would not use that particular phrase, but would instead speak of "Islamist extremism."

While delivering his speech, Trump seemed to stray away from the prepared text, actually using the term "Islamic extremism": "That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism, and Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds," he said.

This is President Trump's first trip abroad. Over eight days he will be visiting Israel, the Vatican, Belgium and Italy.

Speaking of Iran, Trump said: "But no discussion of stamping out this threat would be complete without mentioning the government that gives terrorists all three: safe harbor, financial backing and the social standing needed for recruitment."

"It is a regime that is responsible for so much instability in that region," Trump said. "I am speaking of course of Iran. From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds arms, and trains terrorists, militias and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. For decades Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror. It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this very room."

"Among Iran's most tragic and destabilizing interventions, you've seen it in Syria," he continued. "Bolstered by Iran, Assad has committed unspeakable crimes, and [the] United States has taken firm action and response to the use of banned chemical weapon by the Assad regime."

He added: "Responsible nations must work together to end the humanitarian crisis in Syria, eradicate ISIS and restore stability to the region, and as quickly as possible."

In reference to a $110 billion defense purchase by the Saudis, Trump called it an historic agreement. "We'll be sure to help our Saudi friends to get a good deal from our great American defense companies," he said.

See video coverage of President Trump's speech to the Arab Islamic American Summit and read a transcript of the event.