Gage SkidmoreCC BY 2.0

Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY 2.0

From a presidential candidate who wanted to completely ban Muslims to a President who called on Arab leaders to help him in the fight against terrorism, Trump is showing signs of change.

Ever since Donald Trump delivered a speech in Saudi Arabia declaring Arab leaders as U.S. allies in fighting terrorism, speculations have been flying around on whether the president has changed his stance on Islam. Now, an official statement has come straight from Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State, who said the president's views are continuing to “evolve.”

The president's call for Muslim leaders to help America fight terrorism came as a surprise to many. Most still see Trump as an anti-Muslim leader, a perception which may have been the chief driving factor that brought him to his position. Having claimed Islam hated America and imposed a ban on Muslims from seven Muslim nations, Trump’s call to Muslim leaders to unite was something very few would have foreseen.

Tillerson acknowledged the president’s views were radically changing from the time when he suggested the way for America to go would be a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” The secretary argued this is a positive sign, signaling there is a lot more that has to be understood about the Muslim world and expressed hopes that all Americans would “evolve” their views about Muslims as well.

Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, Tillerson said, "…I think an important part of this trip, one of the takeaways, my observations — again I hope it's something that translates back, not just to the American people but to the Muslim world as well — we need to put a lot more effort into understanding one another better. Understanding each other's cultures, understanding each other's beliefs, and I think talking more openly about those, I think there's a great deal that's misunderstood about the Muslim world, by Americans and the Western world,"

Speaking about the significance of Trump’s trip, Tillerson said the president is "increasing his own perspectives," and the best way to understand the people of another culture is to visit them, in their own land, see them face to face, experience first-hand how they live their lives, and to realize that they too, just like any others, want to live a life of peace and prosperity. 

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