Ourview: President’s retweets indicative of deep-rooted American Islamophobia


Trump used these anti-muslim videos to promote the need for a travel ban and border wall.

Each week the editorial board reflects on a current issue in Our View. The position taken does not reflect the opinions of everyone on the Hilltop Views staff. This week’s editorial board is composed of Viewpoints editors Kenny Phipps and Lauren Sanchez.

President Donald Trump’s use of Twitter has become a constant source of stress for American citizens. The social media site offers Trump the chance to broadcast his stream-of-consciousness ramblings to a worldwide audience. Many people are unsure whether to consider Trump’s asinine tweets official statements, with ramifications for U.S. policy and diplomacy, or simply the random thoughts of an old man who clearly hasn’t quite mastered this fancy new technology. Whichever of these is closer to the truth, there are certain actions that should be specifically and definitely off-limits for the president of the United States.

Trump’s most recent offense occurred on Nov. 30 and involved three anti-Muslim videos created by British hate groups. The videos, one depicting a crowd bearing the flag of the Islamic State beating a man to death, one of a teenager beating up a second teenager who is on crutches and one of a middle aged man destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary, are pieces of propaganda intended by their creators to stoke fear, resentment and violence against Muslims.

The videos are of questionable authenticity; in the case of the teenagers, police reports never mentioned the assailant’s religion and clarify that he is a Dutch citizen and not a Middle Eastern migrant.

Though there have been no comments on the other two videos, it is still clear that videos like this contribute to the idea that it’s not just one group of radical Muslims doing these things. The aim of these videos is to depict all Muslims as violent and hateful towards the Christian faith, ultimately making them into these entities hellbent on destroying western society. The response the videos seek is a sort of righteous anger, one that will induce gullible viewers into believing their neighbors and fellow citizens are less than human.

This isn’t the first time Trump has contributed to the idea that all Muslims are terrorists; his persistence to keep his Muslim ban in place and his hateful rhetoric on the campaign trail both had a similar goal. However, him actually retweeting these anti-Muslim videos is not only shocking, but also worse than him making these comments during his campaign. By retweeting these videos, accompanied by the pitiful defense of his actions by the Press Secretary, Trump is legitimizing both the intentions and credibility of this dehumanizing material.

This also contributes to a double standard that exists between Christianity and Islam in the national political conversation, particularly concerning the radical groups within these communities. Many Islamophobes make the argument that the Quran says that Muslims can kill those outside of their religion, which is not true. Yet these same Islamophobes ignore the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition, both instances of Christian violence against those whose faith differed, even slightly.

Perhaps the most precise example of the double standard that persists is how the nation treats the KKK. The KKK is a radical Christian group, similar to ISIS in their hatred towards people who are different, yet no one extrapolates their behavior and views to the whole of Christianity. To do so would be absurd.

The fact that our president is actively contributing to this double standard, and is actively supporting anti-Muslim rhetoric, is disgraceful. We should not have a man in office who is going to continue dehumanizing a group of people based on the actions of a few.