Sen. Rand Paul on Friday took on radical Islam and asked taxpayers at the Value Voters summit to oppose any U.S. support for militants who are persecuting or even killing Christians and pastors around the world.
The Kentucky Republican spoke to the assembled conservatives about a long list of reported attacks on Christians in Egypt, Syria and even the small island of Zanzibar off the eastern coast of Africa.
He then took on mainstream Muslims in the boldest part of his speech, saying the faith’s moderates should do more to police radical factions within their religion.
“Why don’t they stand up and condemn this?” he said, drawing applause.
He said Islam as a whole can return to “classical” elements of the religion that promote peace and reason, but that Americans must defend themselves from extremists in the meantime.
Mr. Paul highlighted the work of Malala Yousafzai, a 16-year-old Pakistani who was shot in the head by the Taliban in October 2012 because she fought a flouted a prohibition on girls attending school. Her activism in the aftermath of her ordeal put her on the shortlist for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
And he held up American ideals of fairness and justice, noting the alleged bomber of the Boston Marathon who survived the resulting manhunt will get a trial instead of street justice.
“It’s what makes us different from them,” Mr. Paul said.
He also criticized Senate Democrats for failing to cut off American aid to Egypt in the face of unrest that pitted the country’s military elite against the Muslim Brotherhood faction that insisted their duly elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was illegally booted from office.
“As long as I am in the Senate,” he said, “I will fight against sending any money to the Muslim Brotherhood.”