Rick Perry is frustrated with political rhetoric that he sees as discriminatory toward Muslims, and says he “owes it to America” to share a different message.
“The message I want to get out is we are in a war with radical Islam—we are not in a war with all people of the Muslim faith by any sense of the imagination,” the former Texas governor told The Daily Signal in an exclusive interview.
“Muslims are our allies, and we need to preserve that and work with them,” Perry said. “It’s one of the real challenges of our time to be able to identify who our friends are, and certainly these are our friends.”
Perry, who dropped out of the Republican race for president in September, served 14 years as governor after two years as lieutenant governor to George W. Bush. He is the longest-serving governor in Texas history, and led a state with one of the largest Muslim populations in America—much of it in and around Houston.
It’s a population Perry says he knows well. He spoke to The Daily Signal from a 60-acre “rural compound” outside Round Top, Texas, that he shares with two college buddies and lots of barking dogs. In a 45-minute phone conversation, the former governor frequently—and unprompted—named friends who happen to be Muslim.