Tehseen Lazzouni, a Muslim American living in San Diego, was impressed with President Donald Trump's speech to more than 50 Muslim leaders in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Sunday. She says she likes the new, softer tone he struck toward Islamic communities.
“I thought it was so ironic that here he is now, he is in a Muslim audience and now he's speaking so gently and kindly and moderately. There’s none of that extremist rhetoric we heard on the campaign trail,” Lazzouni told NBC 7.
The speech was a sharp departure from Trump’s harsh words during the campaign where he constantly referred to “radical Islamic terrorism” and called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” in 2015. He also told CNN in March of last year he believed “Islam hates us.” As president Trump has made two attempts at an executive order that aimed to ban people from multiple Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States – seen by some as the realization of his Muslim ban proposal. Both executive orders have been knocked down by the courts.
His Riyadh speech, which was said to have been largely written by aide Stephen Miller, took a much more measured tone.
"A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and drive out the extremists,” Trump said in the speech Sunday. “Drive them out, drive them out of your places of worship, drive them out of your community, drive them out of your holy land and drive them out of this earth."
Lazzouni agreed with the President that we should work with Muslim countries to combat terrorism.
“I think ISIS needs to be fought on several different fronts and one of them should be finance,” she said.
Lazzouni said she liked how the president recognized the headway some Muslim countries have already made, and said she’s cautious about the future but thinks this is a good first step.
Trump called on Muslim leaders to help combat a 'crisis of Islamic extremism' from the region.
"There is still much work to be done,” Trump said in his speech. “That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds."
His visit to Saudi Arabia was the first part of a nine-day tour that includes stops in Israel, the Vatican and Belgium. This is the president’s first trip abroad since taking the oath of office in January.