Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Monday said he wants U.S. schools to teach more about the Islamic faith. He claims there has been an “unconscionable rise in Islamophobia” under the Trump administration.
During video remarks played at the “Million Muslim Votes” summit earlier this week, Biden said he wished public schools included more instruction on Islam.
“I wish we taught more in our schools about the Islamic faith. I wish we talked about all the great confessional faiths. [Islam is] one of the great confessional faiths” Biden said.
“What people don’t realize is … we all come from the same root here, in terms of our fundamental basic beliefs. I just want to thank you for giving me the opportunity for being engaged, for committing to action this November.”
Emgage Action, the Muslim American political action committee that organized the event, endorsed Biden in April. The group, which boasts of being the “political home for Muslim Americans,” originally endorsed Bernie Sanders before he withdrew from the presidential race.
Biden continued, saying that under Trump’s leadership, the country’s hate for the Muslim community has spiked to unfathomable heights.
“Donald Trump has fanned the flames of hate in this country, across the board, through his words, his policies, his appointments, his deeds…, Biden said. “Under this administration, we have seen an unconscionable rise in Islamophobia, including kids being bullied at school and hate crimes in our communities.”
Biden also accused the president of naming “people with open Islamophobia… who have no business serving in high positions in our government.”
“It is an insult to our values, it weakens our standing in the world,” Biden said. “What message does this send to the rest of the world?”
Despite Biden’s praise of the Muslim community, he did not address the presence of radical Islamic extremist groups who have killed thousands of people around the world. Instead, he thanked Emgage Action for encouraging 1 million Muslims to vote in November.
“You are doing what has never been done before. It matters. Your voice is your vote. Your vote is your voice,” Biden said. “This is the most important election in modern American history.”
Biden also claimed that Muslims “were the first to feel Donald Trump’s assault on black and brown communities in this country with his vile Muslim ban.” He promised to “end the Muslim ban on day one” if elected president.
Trump implemented the so-called Muslim ban during his first days as president in 2017. The mandate temporarily prohibited immigration and refugee resettlement from Muslim-majority countries because they failed to meet “minimum security and information-sharing requirements.”