Donald Trump’s Anti-Muslim Rhetoric Shows Up In Al Qaeda Recruitment Video
Donald Trump is the latest star of a recruitment video put out be an al Qaeda off-shoot:
An al Qaeda affiliate has apparently released a new recruitment video, telling Muslims in America that the country has a long history of racism and discrimination and will turn on its Muslim community.
The video purportedly by Somali terrorist group al-Shabaabuses historic civil rights era footage of firebrand Malcolm X and audio of 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump to label the United States a racist society.
In the wake of the San Bernandino shootings last month, Trump said he wanted “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.”
The video runs this line, bleeping out the word “hell.”
CNN cannot independently confirm the authenticity of the video. Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.
Throughout the video, excerpts of previous video messages from the late radical cleric Anwar al Awlaki are played predicting persecution of Muslims in the United States.
Al-Awlaki was U.S. born and raised and revered as a powerful motivator in terrorist operations for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
He was killed by a U.S. drone strike in 2011, in Yemen.
On some level, of course, it’s not surprising that Trump’s words would end up in a recruitment video by one of these groups. Even before he went the extra mile of proposing to ban the entry of all Muslims into the United States for some indeterminate period, Trump’s language regarding Muslims was playing right into the stereotypes that the jihadists like to use when talking about the United States and the way we treat Muslims. He had proposed a national database of all Muslims in the country so that law enforcement could track them, proposed the idea that mosques should be shut down for allowing the spread of “radical” ideas, constantly repeated debunked claims that “thousands” of Muslim Americans were celebrating the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, openly talked about targeting the family members of suspected terror leaders even if they weren’t involved in terrorism themselves, and said that the United States should seize the oil wells being used by ISIS to finance its operations and use the oil for its own purposes. All of this plays right into the kind of image that groups like al Qaeda and ISIS want the Arab world to see of the United States, of course, and Trump is providing them with more than enough material.
This video comes several weeks after Hillary Clinton claimed in the last Democratic debate that Trump’s words were being used in ISIS recruitment videos. This claim was immediately disputed by many in the media, though, and fact checkers were unable to find any evidence of an ISIS video featuring Trump that had been released at any time prior to the debate. To some level, I suppose, this video would arguably vindicate Clinton’s claim, as well as the arguments of others that the rhetoric Trump was using played right into the hands of terrorist groups. That political argument seems largely irrelevant, though, since it should have been obvious from the start that Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric would end up having some kind of impact outside the United States. The question Republicans will have to ask is whether they want to adopt it for their own.
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