Saturday, January 02, 2016

Islamic Extremist Use Trump as Recruiting Tool

Many have accused Donald Trump of aiding the enemy - i.e, ISIS and other extremist groups - through his vitriolic denunciations of Muslims and advocacy for barring Muslims from America.  Trump's demagoguery plays well with the racist, knuckle draggers of the GOP base, but plays right into ISIS and other groups' desire to depict America and the West at war against Islam and by extension, all Muslims. Not that Trump, the carnival barker playing to America's own extremists seems to give a damn.  A piece in the New York Times looks at how Trump's rhetoric is being used against America.  Here are highlights:

Al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia released a recruitment video on Friday that criticized racism and anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States and contained footage of the Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump announcing his proposal to bar Muslims from entering the country.

The video, released by the militant group Shabab, appeared to be the first time that Mr. Trump was featured in jihadist recruitment material. During a Democratic presidential debate last month, Hillary Clinton said that Mr. Trump had been used in a recruitment video for the Islamic State, a claim that was later debunked.

Al Qaeda and the Islamic State are rival jihadist groups that compete for recruits and money among radicalized Muslims.  Representatives for the Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.

The video was authenticated by the SITE Intelligence Group, which studies jihadist propaganda, and it appeared to be aimed at the African-American community.

In addition to footage of Mr. Trump, the video, which is 51 minutes long, included excerpts from speeches by Malcolm X and unnamed white supremacists, as well as footage of white police officers, African-Americans protesting police brutality and African-American men in prison. Some appeared to be performing Islamic prayers.

Using footage of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American member of a Qaeda affiliate who was killed in an American drone attack in 2011, the video also said the United States was gripped by a “malignant hatred” of Islam. It warned American Muslims that “there are ominous clouds gathering in your horizon.”

“The West will eventually turn against its Muslim citizens,” he said, jabbing his finger toward the camera. Only two choices remained for Muslims in the United States, he said.

“You either leave or you fight,” he said. “You leave and live among Muslims, or you stay behind and follow the example of Nidal Hasan and others who fulfilled their duty of fighting for Allah’s cause.”

What is frightening is that far too many Americans seem only too happy to play right into ISIS's hands, especially GOP presidential candidates who are only too eager to prostitute themselves to the ugliest elements of the GOP base.

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