RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — President Donald Trump offered a message of unity Sunday as he called on the Arab world to confront extremism during a highly anticipated speech in the birthplace of Islam.
“A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists,” Trump told the dozens of Muslim leaders who attended his remarks.
“Drive. Them. Out. Drive them out of your places of worship,” the president continued. “Drive them out of your communities. Drive them out of your holy land, and drive them out of his Earth!”
The speech during the initial stop of the president’s first foreign trip was a stark contrast to his previous comments on Islam. As a candidate, Trump frequently criticized the religion, saying, “I think Islam hates us” and “there’s a tremendous hatred there.”
In Riyadh, Trump said, “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 of all religions who seek to protect it.”