Presidential Election

How Republicans Talk About Islam: Then vs. Now

Post-9/11, President Bush made it clear: Islam is a peaceful religion. So why won't anyone running for the Republican nomination say that now?

How Republicans Talk About Islam: Then vs. Now
Getty Images / Mark Wilson

"These acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith," President George W. Bush said Sept. 16, 2001. "The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's now what Islam is about. Islam is peace." 

"If you look at Islamism, it is a theocratic and political ideology that says they are compelled to use violence and force to murder anyone who doesn't share their radical faith or to forcibly convert them," Ted Cruz told Fox News this month. "And it is a cancer."

"You're gonna have to do something," Donald Trump said this month. "Some bad things are happening, and a lot of them are happening in the mosques. And you're gonna have to do something."

"Its teachings are good and peaceful," Bush said in an address to Congress shortly after 9/11. "And those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah."

"We tiptoe around a religion that promotes the most murderous mayhem on the planet on their so-called holiest days," Mike Huckabee said on his radio program in 2013.

"So do you believe that Islam is consistent with the Constitution?" NBC's Chuck Todd asked Ben Carson recently.

"No, I do not," Carson replied. "I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that."