Social media responds to news Trump will give a speech on Islam
US President Donald Trump will this weekend make his first trip abroad since assuming office, with Saudi Arabia his first destination.
The trip, set to last a week, will discuss, among other things, the sale of $100bn worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, and will be followed by a visit to meet the Pope in the Vatican, and stops in Israel, Palestine and Belgium.
National security advisor HR McMaster said in a press briefing that Trump “will deliver an inspiring yet direct speech on the need to confront radical ideology” and that he would share his hopes for a “peaceful vision of Islam”. He also presented a detailed itinerary of the "historic" trip.
“The speech is intended to unite the broader Muslim world against common enemies of all civilization and to demonstrate America’s commitment to our Muslim partners,” McMaster added.
The inclusion of such a speech has echoes of then President Barack Obama's landmark speech at Cairo University on his visit to Egypt in 2009, where he also spoke of extremism and of tensions within communities.
But the news that Trump planned to give a speech on Islam, while visiting Saudi Arabia, was met with disbelief and heavy sarcasm on social media.
People were quick to remember comments Trump had made in the past
News breaking that Trump is going to give a speech about Islam during his visit to Saudi Arabia. Don't forget. He uttered this nonsense. pic.twitter.com/7BlFGDfB8N
— Dr. Craig Considine (@CraigCons) May 16, 2017
President Donald "I think Islam hates us" Trump to give a speech about Islam in Saudi Arabia during Ramadan.
Can't make this shit up.
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) May 16, 2017
Other users shared their expectation of disaster
— Curt Flood, Jr (@curtfloodjr) May 16, 2017
Some predicted what Trump would say...
@Broadsword_Six "Most people don't know I invented Islam. I invented it in the 80s. Before everyone else, I mean. I built the Taj casino with Islam."
— Andrew Schulze (@AndrewRSchulze) May 17, 2017
...while satirist Karl Sharro wrote a thread of 'useful' tips to Trump for his trip...
It's customary for Saudis to offer a crafted sword as a gift. In return a US President can gift them American crafts, like a missile system.
— Karl Sharro (@KarlreMarks) May 17, 2017
Others believe it's a simple case of going one better against his Oval Office predecessor...
A part of me is tempted to think Trump is doing this Riyadh Islamic summit, just because Obama did the Cairo speech once upon a time.
— Dr H.A. Hellyer (@hahellyer) May 16, 2017