Tuesday, February 07, 2017
He talks a mean game
But the target of his wrathful words, ISIS, sees The Tangerine Shitgibbon as their potential savior in a world of hurt closing down on them.
IS has been weakened in recent months by battlefield defeats, the loss of territory in Iraq, Syria and Libya, and a decline in its finances and the size of its fighting forces.Trumps foolish actions are not the actions of a strong leader and ISIS will try hard to exploit that weakness at the cost of yet an unknown number of innocent lives. Who knows, perhaps Tangerine can undo the costly efforts of so many people and bring about a Trumpian revival of the caliphate?
Trump's pledge to eradicate "Islamic extremism" looks at first sight to be yet another blow to Islamic State's chances of success.
But Middle East experts and IS supporters say his election triumph could help revive the group's fortunes. They also believe his move late last month to temporarily ban refugees and bar nationals from seven mainly Muslim countries could work in the group's favor.
The executive order, on which IS has been silent, is in limbo after being overturned by a judge. But whether or not it is reinstated, it has angered Muslims across the world who, despite Trump's denials, see it as evidence that he and his administration are Islamophobic.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the accusations of Islamophobia. But White House spokesman Sean Spicer said last week: "The president's number one goal has always been to focus on the safety of America, not the religion. He understands that it's not a religious problem."
Denying the travel ban would make the United States less safe, Spicer has said "some people have not read what exactly the order says and are reading it through misguided media reports."
Yet such comments have not silenced the criticism.
"The ban on Muslim countries will undoubtedly undermine the global effort to discredit extremists," said Hassan Hassan, a writer on Islamist radicalism and co-author of the 2015 book "ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror".
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which comprises 57 member states, said such "selective and discriminatory acts will only serve to embolden the radical narratives of extremists."
Jihadists are still celebrating Trump's election triumph in online forums, saying it vindicates their argument that his views show the United States' true face and that his policy will polarise communities, one of the militants' goals.
"It is a blessing from Allah to the Muslims who lost their loyalty and faithfulness and preferred to choose the worldly life with all its luxuries that exists in the apostate land over the land of belief," one jihadist wrote on the Islamist website al-Minbar.
Like al Qaeda before it, IS has long said the West has deep-seated hostility towards Muslims. Over the past decade, this narrative has been a factor in the steady growth of a radical audience in the Middle East and beyond.
Trump's policies will make it a lot easier for the jihadists, says Mokhtar Awad, Research Fellow in the Program on Extremism at George Washington University.
"They will simply double down on the strategy (of attacks) and instead of investing totally in the battlefields they use, they will try even harder than they have already to activate cells in different Middle Eastern and Western countries," Awad said.
"An attack in the U.S., as horrific as it may be, is the perfect thing that will work in their favor to show Trump is weak, and embolden the most exclusionary and xenophobic attitudes that some in this (U.S.) administration may have."
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