This past week, a controversial recruitment video published by Somali-based terrorist group Al-Shabaab used footage from Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election bid, preaching that America will ultimately turn on its Muslim Citizens. The group included clippings from famous Civil Rights leader Malcolm X, to show the tensions between current American politics and the American-Muslim community after the ISIS-motivated San Bernardino shooting left 14 dead. Reinvigorating Muslim Cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki’s predictions of the downfall of American Muslims, the group used footage from the many recent protests and police shootings surrounding African American rights, warning that the same is in store for American Muslims.
Many Republican presidential candidates expressed the need to focus on eliminating extremist views towards Muslims, particularly those of Trump, who was quoted as saying that there should be “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.” Trump also called for the monitoring of mosques, among other other measures.
Al-Shabaab’s insurgency within East Africa was brutal in 2015. A string of attacks including a deadly shooting at a Kenyan college this past summer established Al Shabaab a particularly deadly terrorist group. Spurred on by anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States, especially as expressed by Trump, the group continues to use its online presence to lure angry American Muslims to support its cause and recruit potential combatants.
Samuel Cabot ’17