US election: Jihadis will 'milk Trump's win dry' - Pakistani academic

  • 10/11/2016
Anti-Trump protester in Germany (Getty)
Anti-Trump protester in Germany (Getty)

Many Muslims around the world are dismayed at Donald Trump's election as US President, saying they fear it might raise tensions between the West and Islam and contribute to radicalisation.

Ordinary Muslims are worried his victory could be a propaganda gift to jihadist groups, while others are apprehensive the President-elect will implement campaign pledges to clamp down on Muslims entering the United States.

"Trump has espoused highly inflammatory rhetoric against Muslims. Voters there will expect him to fulfil his promises. That makes me worry about the impact on Muslims in the US and in the rest of the world," said Yenny Wahid, a prominent mainstream Muslim figure in Indonesia.

The world's 1.6 billion Muslims follow a multitude of sects and schools of thought, constitute a majority of the population in countries as varied as Indonesia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal and Albania, and hold a vast array of political views.

During a bitter election campaign, Mr Trump attacked his opponents for what he characterised as their denial about the threat posed by militant Islam, which he said was "coming to our shores", adding that he would quickly form a commission on it.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was the first world leader to congratulate Trump on the phone, Sisi's office said.

Some Muslims, including Wahid, fear his election as president might encourage a view the US holds enmity for Muslims and that this would hinder efforts in Islam to counter radicalisation.

"If jihadi ideology has a source of sustenance, it is the image of the US as the evil anti-Muslim crusader. They will milk Trump's win dry," tweeted Ammar Rashid, an academic and member of Pakistan's Awami Workers Party.

In jihadist social media forums, militants said Mr Trump's election merely revealed the true position of the United States towards Muslims. "The masks have slipped," one wrote.

But some other Muslims were more hopeful, including Umer Daudzai, former Afghan Minister of Interior, citing the record of Ronald Reagan who was US president from 1981-89.

Saudi Arabia, a US ally that is both birthplace of Islam and home to its holiest places, issued a statement that it had congratulated Trump on his election win without making further comment.

However, Awad al-Qirni, one of its most popular clerics with a Twitter following of 2 million, said in a social media post after the election - but without referring to Mr Trump directly - that "America declines into collapse" and that "its internal crisis will grow severely".