SHAFAQNA – U.S. President Donald Trump came under fire for retweeting a photoshopped image of Democratic congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on Monday. The tweet drew outrage from the Muslim community in the U.S. who pointed that the image reinforces anti-Muslim stereotypes. The photo in question, which was originally posted by Twitter user @D0wn_Under, shows the Democratic leaders in Muslim garb, a veil for Pelosi and a turban for Schumer, widely regarded as Islamophobic tropes.
The photo was tweeted with a caption that read: “The corrupted Dems trying their best to come to the Ayatollah’s rescue #NancyPelosiFakeNews.” The tweet drew outrage from the Muslim community in the U.S. who pointed that the image reinforces anti-Muslim stereotypes.
“The image is a hodgepodge of anti-Muslim tropes and garb from many traditions, including some that are frequently used to stereotype and attack Muslims,” Madihha Ahussain, special counsel at the nonprofit group Muslim Advocates, said in a statement. “It’s disappointing but not surprising that the president would use his massive Twitter platform to spread this kind of harmful, ignorant, anti-Muslim bigotry.”
Meanwhile, CEO of the Muslim American group Engage Action Wa’el Alzayat addressed the doctored photo controversy in an interview, noting that “there’s no place for it, irrespective of political differences.” Tensions have soared since the U.S. assassinated Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force and second most powerful man in the country, in a drone strike earlier this month outside Baghdad International Airport.
Since confirming Soleimani was killed by a U.S. air strike, administration officials have said they acted because of an imminent risk of attacks on American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. But U.S. lawmakers, including some Republicans as well as Democrats, have said the administration has failed to provide evidence that an attack was imminent. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faulted the White House for failing to consult Congress before the drone strike that killed Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad last week.