Militant groups hope president-elect’s actions will ‘openly expose’ America’s hostility to Islam.
Islamist extremists have responded to Donald Trump’s election victory with glee over his reputation as a loose cannon who has been openly hostile to Muslims.
The Islamic State jihadist group, which is being pummeled by a U.S.-led military coalition in Iraq and Syria, had said ahead of the U.S. presidential vote that there was no substantial difference between Trump and Hillary Clinton. But as the results came in, the group’s supporters took to chat groups and accounts on the social media app Telegram to celebrate Trump’s win.
“Rejoice, he will show America’s ugly face,” said one post. “I am optimistic about Trump’s victory because he is a stupid, arrogant, hubristic bull who is dumber than [George W.] Bush,” said another.
“Trump’s vulgarity will embarrass [Arab] tyrants and enlarge the field of jihad,” one poster wrote on an Internet chat forum used by I.S. supporters.
They were apparently referring to Trump’s proposal during his campaign to ban Muslims from entering the United States, and to disparaging remarks on Saudi Arabia whose monarchy the extremists loathe.
I.S. has not officially commented on Trump’s victory.
Both candidates, Trump and Clinton, had “committed themselves to the Jewish state and the war on Islam,” the group said in a pre-election English-language article released by its Al-Hayat propaganda arm on social media.
However, Clinton was “more skilled in ‘political correctness’ giving her leverage in the sorcery of hypocrisy.” On the other hand, Trump—who has said he wants to “bomb the shit out of them”—was “impulsive and unpredictable,” the article said.
Some I.S. supporters found the whole idea of celebrating either candidate’s victory scandalous. “If Trump wins, it’s in our favor,” one wrote on a pro-I.S. chat group as the results were coming in, prompting condemnation from offended fellow Islamists. “They’re both tyrants and we just want to cut off their heads,” another user, whose account profile features a scimitar, responded.
Extremists also celebrated news of anti-Trump protests in U.S. cities. “Praise God, may He increase this,” read one comment about a video apparently showing Trump opponents assaulting a supporter of the president-elect.
Another I.S. supporter posted an appeal on a chat forum for fellow users to tweet “racist” pro and anti-Trump messages. “If we can inflame the dissension and troubles in their countries maybe they’ll withdraw” from the self-styled I.S. caliphate in Iraq and Syria, he wrote.
Al Qaeda ideologue Abu Mohammed al-Maqdisi, who is based in Jordan, played up the division in American society over Trump’s victory. “Trump’s rule may be the beginning of a split in the United States and the era of its disintegration,” he wrote on Twitter.
In contrast to the small minority of extremists, many Muslims in the United States and elsewhere have reacted with horror on social media to Trump’s victory. “I’m sorry to all the Americans and my fellow Muslims #Trump sorry you have to tolerate such an idiot. #pray,” one wrote on Twitter.