Trump’s Response To The London Tube Attack Relies On Islamophobia Yet Again
London hasn't had an easy year with terrorism and violence and, unfortunately, the fear seems to be continuing. Friday morning, the BBC reported that there was an attempted bomb attack on a London underground train during rush hour. As of right now, 22 people are being treated for burn injuries, but Donald Trump's response to the London tube attack wasted no time in being less supportive and more upsetting. As if he's following a script, Trump has turned the explosion in London, one that has injured too many people, all back on Islam once the incident was labeled an act of terror. You've definitely heard this play out before — officials say, yes, there was an act of terror. Trump immediately reminds everyone about the ban he wants to implement in the United States. You know, the one that could potentially ban Muslims.
Was Trump's response helpful to those terrified in London? No. Not exactly. Let's be honest, hearing that an explosive device detonated during rush hour on the London tube, one that is notorious for being overly packed with people trying to get to work, to school, and into an incredible city, isn't really time to spark your xenophobic agenda. But of course, Trump never misses a beat. Instead of offering his condolences or reaching out to London so that he, and America, could be of assistance, he went on a rant.
(It should also be noted that even after these rants, Trump still hasn't offered his support or condolences to London. He then started ranting about ESPN.)
It's OK to be against ISIS — that's a really good thing. But to be totally accurate, according to the BBC, no official has claimed this incident is related to ISIS. It's a terror attack because the bomb was "designed to maim and kill," BBC reported. The very definition of terrorism, much to Trump's surprise, I'm sure, actually has nothing to do with Muslims or Islam. And to have this same discussion every time a tragedy happens is exhausting. Instead of fighting Islamophobia or a xenophobic president, America should be up and ready to rally, ready to join forces with our allies across the pond in a united front.
But instead, Trump has to blame an entire religion. A religion, according to the Pew Research Center, that made up 1.8 billion people in the world as of 2015. A religion that has repeatedly stood up and denounced terrorism as recent as the London Bridge attack earlier this summer that left eight people dead and 48 injured. A religion that publicly condemned the terror attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester with Muslim leaders promising to not let this divide them from the community.
A religion that opened its mosque doors in Houston to accommodate Hurricane Harvey victims, despite the fact that the disaster happened the night before the Eid al-Adha festival, one of Islam's holiest days, according to USA Today.
Islam is a religion of love. But with Trump immediately reminding the world that he wants to implement a ban to keep those who practice the religion out of the country, it's easy to see why there's so much prejudice surrounding the community. How can the world get a real look at terrorism if, instead of offering his thoughts and prayers — the very least he could do — Trump immediately blames London and turns to Islamophobia. CNN reported that Prime Minister Theresa May wasted no time in getting a statement out via Twitter — "My thoughts are with those injured at Parsons Green and emergency services who are responding bravely to this terrorist incident."
BBC reported that Mayor Sadiq Khan also spoke about the attack, instilling calmness and saying that London "will never be intimidated or defeated by terrorism."
Trump bringing up his ban is exactly what terrorists want. It shows that America is intimidated, America is defeated, and America is afraid. Of who? Muslims? A religion that has, over and over again, denounced these terrorist attacks? A group of people that has stood with America, despite the fact that they are routinely called murderers and are the victims of violence, too?
A ban won't keep terrorists out of America. Refugees and illegal immigrants aren't even the people committing these atrocious crimes. The Independent reported that 190 U.S.-born citizens "have been charged with, or died while carrying out, jihadist terrorism since 2001." Arguing that his travel ban would keep America safe, all while shaming London for not seeing terrorists that were right in their "sight" is just more Islamophobia and Trump's tired tirade. Frankly, America is getting sick of it, and seeing supportive, helpful, and compassionate statements from real leaders is even more embarrassing.
Maybe when Trump gets done ranting about ESPN, he can tweet to London and ask how we can help. Knowing the city and its tolerance level for xenophobic nonsense, they'd probably ask for Trump to stay out of it anyway.