Radical Al-Shabab uses Trump in Recruiting Video & Muslim preachers denounce him along with ISIL

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

The foremost academic expert on Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) and Muslim radical thought, Will McCants at Brookings, tweeted out late Friday:

(I apologize that YouTube removed the content after McCant’s posting).

This development was to be expected. Very large numbers of people in the Middle East have been warning that Trump’s hatred of Muslims was an aid to the radicals. People with black and white points of view feed off one another.

Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood “televangelist” Tareq al-Suwaidan, one of the more popular speakers in the Arab world, said recently that Daesh and Trump both spread hatred, and that Muslims and Christians had a duty to reject both.

But this is a commonplace. Secular Egyptian academic Muhammad al-Kamal wrote in the relatively liberal al-Misri al-Yawm that Trump and his European far right wing counterparts are the Western equivalents of Boko Haram and Daesh. Al-Kamal is a faculty member at the Finance and Economics Institute at Cairo University.

Indeed, one of the functions Trump now plays in the Middle East is one of relieving thinkers in the region of the embarrassment that it produces extremists. America, they are saying, also produces extremists willing to take extra-constitutional measures on nativist grounds to persecute the Other. Given the extremists produced by Europe in the 20th century, there was never any reason for people in the Middle East to be blamed for some sort of negative exceptionalism. But now in any case they have a snappy comeback if any Western right-winger brings it up.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stirred controversy with her allegation in the last debate that radical Muslim groups were showing people Islamophobic Donald Trump videos. He, and much of the US press, insisted that there was no evidence for this charge. Many high-powered journalists appear to have misheard Sec. Clinton as having alleged that these groups had produced videos with Trump clips embedded. That isn’t what she said. She just said that they were showing potential recruits some of the many outrageously bigoted Trump clips that are, e.g., on YouTube. In my view, Sec. Clinton got trapped in a rhetorical device– she probably just wanted to say that hatred of Muslims in Trump’s discourse was useful to the radicals, whose message is that the West wants to destroy Islam and enslave Muslims. The latter is a perfectly reasonable fear, but the way she put it left her open to criticism.

I wrote at the time:

“I do not know if it is true that Daesh is showing people Trump videos. I’d say it is unnecessary. Trump’s message is being widely broadcast in the Muslim world, on television news shows, on radio, in newspapers, and on social media. Daesh wouldn’t have to lift a finger to make sure most Muslims heard that Trump wants to close mosques, considers Muslims terrorists until proven innocent, and wants to ban them from entering the United States. Most Americans have no idea how saturated Arab media is with US politics and culture. On Alarabiya in Arabic (Dubai) I just saw a news clip about the Clinton -Trump tiff over Islamophobia and Daesh, followed by a piece on Star Wars along with a review. Then the news veered off toward important subjects such as the carnage in Yemen and Syria on the ground.

Sec. Clinton’s overall point is correct. Daesh is attempting to convince mainstream Muslims to join a holy war against the United States on the grounds that the US hates Muslims and is persecuting them and wants to wipe them out. Most mainstream Muslims, however much they dislike US foreign policy on issues like keeping the Palestinians stateless and allowing Israel to steal their land and homes, know very well that most Americans have nothing against Muslims.”

Al-Shabab has just ex post facto vindicated Sec. Clinton and removed a talking point from the Trump supporters, though no doubt they’ll find a way to spin this development (or simply deny it; they have a fragile hold on reality).

But in any case there was never any doubt that other people’s extremism always impels nativist extremism. Extremists want us to hate and to cower in fear. The only way to defeat them is to be tolerant and courageous.


Related video:

ABC News: “Al-Shabaab Releases Recruitment Video Featuring Donald Trump”

9 Responses

  1. Kemoszabe

    Trump proves American exceptionalism is a myth. Who cares his IQ is 154 when he becomes the ISIS poster boy before the Primaries?

  2. trump twit is brilliant:
    Hillary Clinton said that it is O.K. to ban Muslims from Israel by building a WALL, but not O.K. to do so in the U.S. We must be vigilant!

  3. In the spirit of paying more attention to what people do rather than what they say consider this: Who is the Arch Racist: Hillary or the Donald? by John V. Walsh – link to counterpunch.org

    This argument doesn’t make an angel of Donald Trump, but it does make a case that he will be the lesser evil in a contest with Hillary.

    One of the more ominous threats is policy towards Russia. Hillary’s neocon friends look like they are on a march to Stalingrad after their Ukraine coup while Trump appears to be more inclined to make a deal.

    What a prospect for the vote in November! Again choosing the lesser evil when the evils are becoming progressively more so.

  4. If the average Islamic Joe chose to join one of the most barbaric and inhuman movements because of Trumps rhetoric’s, then by all mean make Hillary the president, never mind the stalwart support of expansionist Zionism or the unbending friendship with exclusive families running some of the most intolerant countries in the Islamic world “which our gullible press presents as champion and representative of the Muslims everywhere.” Bring out the think tanks and fire a full load at Trump who never did a minute of thinking. Play it again AhMad.
    link to youtube.com

  5. Media circus clown Donald Trump wouldn’t be news if the GOP Presidential candidates were the least bit interesting or maybe even qualified for the position.

    Beating the drums of h8, appealing to a noisy retro Anglo minority and distracting from actual Presidential-level issues will never get anyone elected President.

    Trump is merely ego-driven, anti-American noise played at distraction level by a corporate-controlled media – a media that loses relevance any time Trump is a news item.

  6. I’m still angry with the attempts by peaceniks here to embrace Trump like they tried to embrace the Tea Party 7 years ago. Dr. Martin Luther King denounced the United States for committing far worse crimes in Vietnam than anything it’s done under Obama, but he didn’t call for the overthrow of Lyndon Johnson in favor of George Wallace, who is Trump’s closest American analogue. He didn’t call for the US to surrender its empire to the USSR on the grounds that anything would be better than American power. He understood that supporting the liberal commitment to overthrow Jim Crow was a necessary first step in creating a social democratic America. He understood that annihilating big government in the name of “peace” would throw Blacks back into the tender embrace of States’ Rights. He supported the Federal Great Society and wanted it to get even more money; in a 1967 sermon he said a just solution to poverty would cost a trillion dollars, but it was worth it. Yet now the hunger of the Left to destroy the American empire is so great that you want to let racist barbarians dismantle the government and restore some bullshit isolationist Walden America.

    “I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”

    Interposition and nullification are now the words of the GOP, along with “States’ Rights” and “limited government.” Look them up before you sign on.

    I dare the whole worthless lot of you to refute this.

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