President Donald Trump and Solicitor General of the United States Noel Francisco.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr United States Department of Justice/Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY) Remix by Samantha Grasso

Trump thinks Islam is ‘one of the great countries,’ his attorney tells SCOTUS

Summer's hottest new vacation destination is the great country of 'Islam,' didn't you know?

Apr 25, 2018, 3:50 pm

IRL

Samantha Grasso 

Samantha Grasso

President Donald Trump believes that Muslims in the U.S. are great Americans who love the country and that Islam is “one of the great countries of the world,” according to Department of Justice Solicitor General Noel Francisco.

Francisco made such comments while delivering his opening arguments on the legality of President Trump’s travel ban against the nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries for the Supreme Court case Trump v. Hawaii.

Islam is not a country, but a religion, the followers of which are called Muslims. Many of the nationals targeted within the administration’s travel ban are practicing Muslims. The fictional great country of Islam is not to be confused with the “Nation of Islam,” which is also not a country, but an African American political and religious movement launched in the 1930s.

Francisco’s remark was part of a broader plea to convince the justices that Trump is not targeting Muslims in his travel ban, evidenced by Trump’s respect for American Muslims (and the nonexistent country of Islam).

“He made it crystal clear on September 25 that he had no intention of imposing the Muslim ban,” Francisco said. “He has made crystal clear that Muslims in this country are great Americans, and there are many, many Muslims countries who love this country, and he has praised Islam as one of the great countries of the world.”

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Despite Francisco’s confident flub, an argument analysis from Supreme Court reporter Amy Howe asserted that the travel ban seems likely to be found constitutional by the Supreme Court.

“After over an hour of debate, a majority of the court (and perhaps even a solid one) appeared ready to rule for the government and uphold the order in response to concerns about second-guessing the president on national-security issues,” Howe wrote. “Although it’s always risky to make predictions based on the oral argument, it’s difficult to see how Hawaii can pick up the five votes that it needs to strike down the president’s order.”

Francisco’s false assertion of the religion’s sovereignty had anti-travel ban advocates questioning the capabilities of the solicitor general, and more broadly, the Trump administration’s capability to issue such a ban.

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On Twitter, the hashtag #IslamIsAGreatCountry expanded upon this fictional country and sung the nation’s praises.

Francisco notably misspoke in the Supreme Court in 2016, when he referred to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as “Justice O’Connor,” referring to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who had retired in 2006.

Listen to the audio of Francisco’s remarks below, at the 1:06:35 mark.

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*First Published: Apr 25, 2018, 3:50 pm