Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio said he should have known better than to equate the Muslim community with immigrants.
The Florida senator made the comments during an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, when asked about the comments of his rival, former Florida Gov.
“I think you’ve got to understand what a Muslim is.
You know, the first time I ever met a Muslim, I was with the ambassador of a country in Turkey, a guy called Muntadhar.
And I was standing right next to him,” Rubio said.
“And he told me, ‘You know, you know, this guy Muntarhar, he came to the United States of America with his wife and children.
And he was a U.S. citizen, he was married to a U, and he was here for the first five years of his life.'”
Rubio added that while he had met Muntarbhar before, he didn’t know what his status was and did not know how he could explain the religion.
“Now, I know that he was an American citizen.
I just don’t know his status,” Rubio added.
“If you go back and read the Quran, you will see that the first three verses of the Quran are very clear that all Muslims are the sons of Allah and that the Quran is the word of Allah.”
“Now if you go and read other holy books, they’re the same,” Rubio continued.
“But that doesn’t mean you’re Muslim, you’re not.”
Bush, who had previously called Rubio’s remarks “stupid,” then criticized Rubio for the remarks.
“It’s a terrible mistake,” Bush said.
Rubio was asked to comment on the Fox News interview and responded: “I would love to say that I was wrong.
I was very proud to be in the United Nations with a woman who has been a Muslim my whole life and a woman that I have had my children with.”
“But what I am saying is, there are a lot of Muslims around the world that are very proud of their religion and very proud that their country is a country where they have a right to practice their religion freely, and they want to be here and they’re not going to be forced to leave,” Rubio insisted.
Rubio later told reporters in New Hampshire that he did not understand why people had interpreted his comments as suggesting Muslims were the same as non-Muslims.
“The Muslim community has never been more welcoming, more open, and more open than they are today,” Rubio explained.
“So I think that it’s just a question of understanding that there are different types of Muslims.
And some Muslims don’t practice what the Bible teaches, or what the Quran teaches.
And the fact that the American people are a diverse and wonderful people, they don’t understand that.”
The Republican candidate continued to argue that Muslims are not terrorists and are just trying to make a better life for themselves.
“You know what, if you are a Muslim and you don’t want to commit suicide, and if you’re a Muslim who wants to take care of your children and your grandchildren, I just can’t imagine,” Rubio declared.
“This is the kind of guy who wants a Muslim caliphate, who wants the destruction of Israel, who would rather have an Israeli government that is ruled by the Palestinians than a democratic government that would rule by the Muslim majority.”