- Solicitor General Noel Francisco referred to Islam as “one of the great countries of the world” while defending President Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban before the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
- Many Twitter users quickly pointed out the fact Islam is not a country, as Francisco suggested.
- The White House claims the travel ban is not a “Muslim ban,” as critics have referred to it, but Trump’s controversial rhetoric on Islam has put his administration in a tough spot in this regard.
Solicitor General Noel Francisco referred to Islam as “one of the great countries of the world” while defending President Donald Trump’s travel ban before the Supreme Court on Wednesday, which left many people deeply confused.
Islam is not a country; it is one of the world’s largest religions.
As the Supreme Court heard oral arguments surrounding the ban, which primarily targets predominately Muslim nations and has taken several forms since Trump took office, Francisco was insistent it is not a “Muslim ban.”
He sought to prove that Trump is not intolerant of Muslims, but simply concerned with US national security.
“[Trump] has made crystal clear that Muslims in this country are great Americans and there are many, many Muslim countries who love this country and he has praised Islam as one of the great countries of the world,” he said.
Many Twitter users were quick to point out the erroneous nature of Francisco’s statement.
Solicitor General Noel Francisco closed today's SCOTUS case on the #MuslimBan case by arguing that Trump "has praised Islam as one of the great countries of the world."
HELP this is actually real pic.twitter.com/w9QMWTpzpI
— Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani (@AdrienneMahsa) April 25, 2018
The United States Supreme Court is currently debating Trump’s Muslim ban.
The government attorney arguing in defense of the ban just closed by saying “Islam is a great country.”
— Jeremy McLellan (@JeremyMcLellan) April 25, 2018
— Amir Ashour (@AmirLemina) April 25, 2018
When contacted to clarify Francisco’s remarks, the solicitor general’s office told Business Insider he was referencing Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia from May in which the president described Islam as one of the “world’s great faiths.” In short, Francisco apparently misspoke.
With that said, Trump has widely been accused of being Islamophobic, particularly after he called for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the US during his presidential campaign. Among other controversial remarks and actions directed toward Muslims, Trump also once said, “I think Islam hates us.”
The president’s rhetoric regarding Islam has been a large part of the reason his travel ban has encountered so many legal obstacles and has made it difficult for the White House to argue that the ban is not motivated by anti-Muslim sentiments.
A majority of the Supreme Court justices on Wednesday appeared to be convinced Trump’s travel ban is lawful, but the president’s prior remarks surrounding Muslims continued to raise questions as to the true motivations encompassing the ban.
The justices are expected to issue a ruling on the ban in June.