President Donald Trump circulated a fake image on Monday depicting Democrats’ top-ranked leaders in traditional Muslim attire in front of the Iranian flag, drawing criticism that he was promoting Islamophobic tropes.
The photoshopped photo retweeted by Trump showed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in Muslim garb with the caption: “The corrupted Dems trying their best to come to the Ayatollah’s rescue #NancyPelosiFakeNews.”
Trump, who is a Republican, has previously faulted Democrats for criticizing his administration’s targeted killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, but his use of Muslim imagery has become the last straw for the Muslim advocates
Madihha Ahussain, special counsel at the nonprofit group Muslim Advocates, said in a statement, “It’s disappointing but not surprising that the president would use his massive Twitter platform to spread this kind of harmful, ignorant, anti-Muslim bigotry.”
Wa’el Alzayat, CEO of the Muslim American group Emgage Action also criticized Trump’s decision to spread the doctored photo of Pelosi and Schumer. “There’s no place for it, irrespective of political differences,” he said in an interview.
It comes as no surprise that Trump has done something that is anti- Muslim and is perpetuating a negative imagery for the Muslims, but this petty move towards his opposition seems less like the actions of a president but more of a troll.
Trump tweeting absurd and stupid things has become a norm, but this was perhaps a new low for him. However, putting aside Trump for a while, this also tells us a lot about how Muslims are perceived in the West. The entirety of Muslims have been put into the stereotypical mold while white supremacists express their racism all over media.
As we’ve said before, Trump is like a troll and honestly we don’t know of another president that takes part in trolling. What he gets wrong and what it says about his supporters says a lot about America’s democracy and the survival of whats left of it.