Donald Trump's Evolving Statements on Islam
By Joan Greve
Washington Week Fellow
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump came under fire again this weekend for criticizing the family of Humayun Khan, a Muslim-American Army captain who was killed by an improvised explosive device in Iraq in 2004. Khan’s parents, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, took the stage at the Democratic National Convention Thursday, where Khizr Khan addressed Trump directly, saying, “Have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy...You have sacrificed nothing and no one."
Trump quickly fired back on social media and during an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, questioning if Ghazala Khan was allowed to speak and suggesting that the Clinton campaign wrote the remarks. The GOP nominee also took to Twitter after the Khans spoke to CNN Monday, writing, “Mr. Khan, who does not know me, viciously attacked me from the stage of the DNC and is now all over T.V. doing the same - Nice!”
While the back-and-forth between Trump and the Gold Star family has captured the media’s attention, it is not the first time that the nominee’s opinions on Islam have created headlines. Here’s a look back at Trump’s evolving statements on the topic since the start of his presidential campaign:
December 7, 2015
Trump shook up the Republican primary, when, following the November terrorist attacks in Paris and December shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., he proposed “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” The plan was quickly denounced by politicians on both sides of the aisle, including by Trump’s now-running mate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, and Trump has updated the proposal in the months since.
March 10, 2016
The real estate mogul once again turned heads amidst the primary season when he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “I think Islam hates us...There is a tremendous hatred, and we have to be very vigilant; we have to be very careful. And we can’t allow people coming into this country who have this hatred of the United States.” When Cooper asked Trump to clarify whether he meant “radical Islam,” Trump responded, “It’s radical, but it’s very hard to define.”