When news broke that there had been yet another apparent terrorist attack, this time in London, an outpouring of support for America's close ally soon followed. But for those of us who have watched the Islamophobic backlash spurred by every other attack carried out by extremists, that support for Londoners was tempered by an understandable worry for the people who will fall victim to bigotry. Given the anti-Muslim sentiments of our president, many of us are already scared that Donald Trump will use the London attack to demonize Muslims and stir up Islamophobic sentiment, like he has with other such attacks in the past.
British news agencies have already begun incorrectly identifying Muslims as suspects in the London Parliament attacks, and despite the little information that's been released about the attacker or attackers, people on social media are already jumping to the conclusion that the attackers are Muslim. Regardless of whether or not these still-anonymous attacker or attackers are Muslim or affiliated with the Islamic State or another violent organization that claims to fight in the name of Islam, bigots will use this attack to add fuel to their prejudice. And those in positions of power who already demonstrate Islamophobic tendencies can twist this act of violence to further their bigoted agendas. It's not at all a stretch to expect that Trump, who called for a Muslim immigration ban after the Orlando Pulse shooting, will use the London Parliament attacks to further his agenda in the name of "safety."
In moments, @realDonaldTrump will begin exploiting the attack in London today. Do not allow this to be an indictment on Islam or Muslims.— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) March 22, 2017
The fact that Trump has issued two now-stalled executive orders attempting to ban immigration from some Muslim-majority countries has only added to the assertion that he has an anti-Muslim agenda.
Get ready. Trump & the Islamophobia Industry will pounce on this & vilify all Muslims if the suspects are Muslim. https://t.co/w2T6LKvIMx— Arjun Sethi (@arjunsethi81) March 22, 2017
While it certainly could be taken as a good sign that Trump has not already begun tweeting about "radical Islamic terrorism," there seems to me to be little hope that he and his ilk will not double down on their Islamophobic politicking if the attackers are revealed to be Muslim. It's possible that he may not, but after watching him shockingly suggests that Muslims knew about the San Bernardino attackers' intentions and offer similarly offensive comments after the Nice attacks last summer, there's very little doubt in my mind that he will not break with his history.