Friday at a mosque in Sterling, VA, Democratic presidential candidate and former Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-MD) sounded off on last week’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, CA and said it wasn’t an indictment of Islam.
O’Malley said, “In these times I suppose where fear and division is in the air, it easy for unscrupulous politicians or hate preachers—no nation is immune from the scourge of hate preachers—to turn us upon ourselves, but that sort of language that you hear from Donald Trump is not the language of America’s future. I know the language of America’s future. I speak to our young people under 30 every single day, and I rarely find among them any that feel like Donald Trump.”
He added. “We need each other, and we particularly need our American Muslim neighbors. I know that there have been many acts of violence. I know that there are acts of ignorance that have been encouraged by some in our political discourse, but the larger arc of our history—as I was listening to the imam—there’s a larger arc of love and generosity and respect for one another. And so I know that our young people understand that the tragic murders that took place in San Bernardino does not define Islam anymore than that horrible murder that took place in Charleston defines Christianity.”
O’Malley was apparently referring to the June mass shooting, in which the suspect 21-year-old Dylann Roof was charged with murdering nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C. The victims were Christians attending a prayer meeting. The suspect Roof said the purpose of the shooting was to start a race war.