The Foreign Minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif, made almost the same comments. He is in a position where he needs to defend the Islamic Republic and has got to find a way to justify the horrific policies of terrorism and extremism the country has adopted.
The Foreign Minister and Zakaria both failed to mentioned that there were dozens of leaders at the Islamic summit. They instead ignored this significant and telling piece of information to instead criticise the US President’s visit.
In fact, every Islamic government there met with Saudi Arabia’s demands. Not surprisingly, Syria and Iran did not attend. They were not there to hear every single other Muslim leader rejecting the accusations against Islam and Islamists.
The Muslim countries at the summit expressed their desire to work with the United States in a fight against terrorism and extremism. The Muslim countries agreed with Saudi Arabia that there needs to be an end to the generalisations about religion that lead to ignorance and conflicts surrounding religion and culture.
Why would people like Zakaria have a problem with this? It would appear that he does not want the United States, via the Trump administration, to cooperate with Saudi Arabia (or any other Islamic country) in a fight against terrorism. He is trying to make out that the Saudi conservativeness is somehow a cause of political and religious terrorism and extremism.
When looking at the facts, this is nothing but a twisted view of reality because extremism applies to all religions – not just Islam.
Saudi Arabia is jailing and executing people linked with terrorism, but the Islamic Republic is giving them high positions in the government. Saudi Arabia is confronting extremist groups, but Iran is creating, funding and supporting them.
The reality is that Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism. It has been noted by officials in Trump’s administration as well as by Saudi Arabia and other countries across the world. An international effort is needed to curb Iran’s spread of terrorism and extremism, and the summit last week is a good start.