Jenna Bush Hager Reminds Us Of What Her Father Said About Islam, Post-9/11

Perhaps the current administration could take a leaf out of the last Republican president's book.

Islamophobia may be playing a key role in the news today, but in the direct aftermath of the 9/11 attacks — the height of the nation's fear and uncertainty — President George W. Bush delivered a rousing speech that was more reflective of American values than our current national conversation. "The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is about," President Bush said. "Islam is peace. These terrorists don't represent peace. They represent evil and war." 

In a tweet on Tuesday morning, Jenna Bush Hager posted an excerpt of her father's speech. "Just a reminder this am [sic] to teach acceptance and love to our kids for all races, all religions," she wrote. 

Jenna Bush Hager poses with sister Barbara Bush, dad George W. Bush, and grandfather George H. W. Bush.

The significance of that speech has only been appreciated in retrospect, as anti-Muslim sentiment crept up the political ladder in the past decade. That Bush's speech seems progressive now, particularly considering the actions he took after 9/11, speaks to the heightened Islamophobia in the country today.

In the wake of the election, minorities reported an uptick in hate crimes as discrimination and hatred. And as America's foreign policy approach to the Middle East is expected to change drastically, it's well worth remembering Bush's words. 

Cover image via ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.

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