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A Fake ‘Ex-Muslim Girl’ Trolls /r/The_Donald

Trump’s Reddit supporters love stories of Muslims leaving Islam for their candidate.

by Roisin Kiberd
Apr 8 2016, 10:00am

"Holy shit, this is beautiful. Can we finally say that the sub got cucked or whatever?"

In a post awarded Reddit gold, the user of an account less than a day old called "Timetodoitt" announced that they were a teenage girl who had decided to leave Islam thanks to Donald Trump. The post is deleted now, but was captured on several blogs:

Screw it. I left Islam… I do support Trump and probably would have supported him even if I was a Muslim. Anyone who thinks Muslims can assimilate in any society that isn't dominated by Islam is fucking insane…. I want to go clubbing, have fun, maybe talk to some boys like other normal girls. I fucking hate my life right now. I just want the chains off and I feel like this subreddit is going to understand.

The post, which made it to second place on the front page of /r/The_Donald, Reddit's hub of Trump support, elicited reactions ranging from bombast to concern: cries of "MAGA" ("Make America Great Again"), "TRUMP CHANGING LIVES FOR THE BETTER" and "GLAD TO HAVE YOU ABOARD THE HIGH ENERGY TRUMP TRAIN" followed advice to "steer clear of Muslims entirely" in case of an honour killing. Another account called "LetsMAGAnow" said the user should "take shooting classes" for peace of mind.

The "Muslim girl" also received dick pics. Lots and lots of dick pics, sent in private messages. We know this because the OP, who in a later post revealed he is not a woman, nor an Ex-Muslim, nor particularly interested in the attentions of male Trump fans, showed up on /r/Islam a day later to clarify:

It is fake lol. Was born a Muslim and will die a Muslim.

It got 4600 votes and was #2 on /r/the_donald.

You should see my inbox. Got so many dick pics, got asked if I want to lose my virginity to a white bull ayy lmao, got told how beautiful Muslim women are and how I must look like a model and got told I need to get rammed with the veil on. Those guys are hella thirsty...

Of course /r/The_Donald is angry now. "Timetodoitt," who did not reply to interview requests, played into a recurring trope: that of the Trump convert, a fugitive from their community risking it all to support The Donald. The subreddit has been flooded with such posts—from first time self-identified Republicans, former Bernie Bros declaring themselves "Bernouts," and in the most extreme cases, people like this poster apparently renouncing their religious beliefs.

The most popular "Ex-Muslim Girl" post offers a dimly-lit Imgur upload as proof of the poster's identity, depicting what is apparently a hijab thrown into a toilet

The "Ex-Muslim votes Trump" trope, along with its sibling, "Ex-Muslim explains Trump," have surfaced again and again throughout the campaign, and fringe right-wing media outlets have seized on Reddit as a source of Trump conversion narratives even as mainstream media shows Muslim women receiving very different treatment at rallies.

These stories offer readymade pro-Trump clickbait, too good to pass up or to bother with verifying, and quite likely too convenient to be true. The most popular "Ex-Muslim Girl" post offers a dimly-lit Imgur upload as proof of the poster's identity, depicting what is apparently a hijab thrown into a toilet. The OP, "Exmuslimmaga," also spells "hijab" as "hajib" throughout.

The Trump brigade loves the conversion narrative because it posits Donald Trump as "God Emperor" and ersatz deity. Posts like Timetodoitt's and Exmuslimmaga's go one further, by playing on /r/The_Donald's tendency towards quasi-Orientalist concern trolling. The posts implicitly cast /r/The_Donald as a community of white knights "saving" women from religion—Timetodoitt's story was received as one of redemption in the name of freedom, free speech, and ginger-hued combovers.

Fittingly, the replies are marked by a peculiarly Reddit brand of sexist smarm: one rushes to ask, "Do you have a picture Babe?" while another says, "I would ask for tits and hijab with a timestamp but I'm actually being lenient here." Another decides, "OP is confirmed a hot chick. All hot chicks are Trump supporters."

/r/The_Donald is popular, ranking second-highest for activity on Reddit at the time of writing. Studies have shown both Reddit users and Trump supporters skew male, corresponding to what has been one of the most aggressively macho, gun-fixated, haphazardly misogynistic presidential campaign in recent memory. Stories like "Timetodoitt"s cut to the heart of the uncomfortable sexual frustration often evident in Trump's online community, expressed in /r/The_Donald's obsessive use of the word "cuck."

Fake ex-Muslim posts might convince his supporters, but they have yet to get the better of the Donald himself. Trump has already been trolled relentlessly, by everyone from interviewers to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, frequently falling for efforts to derail his campaign. These include accidentally retweeting pictures of serial killers, and attributing to himself a quote from Benito Mussolini.

And yet he continues to troll the world back, a vector for online outrage, a walking meme overwhelming the press, his rivals, and his own followers with a torrent of lies. His candidacy is built on fantasy, and his failings, however frequent, boost his political posturing as a "man of the people."

Trump takes the meme-ification of politics to a new level, by arriving in politics as a meme pre-formed. He is impervious to lies, because he relies on lies himself. Donald Trump is made of the internet. Donald Trump is troll-proof.

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