In a speech delivered at a synagogue in Stoughton, Massachusetts in August, Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who will be President-Elect Donald Trump‘s National Security Adviser, called Islam a “vicious cancer inside the body of 1.7 million people” that has to be “excised.” Also in the speech, he warned of shariah law being imposed in the U.S.
The speech was given at the Ahavath Torah Congregation on August 23 and was posted on YouTube three days later. It was posted by CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski on November 22.
“We are facing another ‘ism,’ just like we faced Nazism, and fascism, and imperialism and communism,” Flynn tells his audience. “This is Islamism, it is a vicious cancer inside the body of 1.7 billion people on this planet and it has to be excised.”
Elsewhere in the speech, he again calls Islam a “political ideology” instead of a religious one. He has used this phrase to describe the entire religion in the past. He ha criticized President Barack Obama, who appointed him Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, for not using the term “Radical Islam” and his views ultimately led to him being pushed out in 2014. He retired a year before his term was supposed to end.
Flynn also said in Stoughton that Florida Democrats wanted to impose shariah law in the Sunshine State. He said that the mainstream media is not right when they say claims of shariah law being imposed are conspiracy theories.
“The state of Florida they have 36 senators at the state level. 36 senators at the state level. 12, of them are Democrats, the Republicans hold the majority in the Florida state senate,” Flynn said. “All 12 Democrats, all 12 Democrats voted to impose shariah at the local and state level. Now, it was beaten because the Republicans are in charge. I’m telling you, this is ‘American laws for America’s courts.'”
Flynn’s statement appears to be a reference to a claim from 2014 that was shared on a conservative blog. In 2014, PolitiFact called this a “pants on fire” falsehood.
Flynn is a member of ACT For America, a group the Southern Poverty Law Center considers the largest anti-Muslim group in the U.S. He has also compared Islam to a “cancer” in other speeches, including the one below.