Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Muslims Post Election

Muslim Americans: you have every right to feel worried about what the future may hold for you. Trump’s campaign gained momentum through picking on people who don’t fit the White American ideal. Now that he is destined for the White House, no one really knows what will happen in regards to the deportation of undocumented people as well as to the Muslim minority. Let’s not forget this is the same guy who wanted to start an online registry for Muslim Americans.

In the days following Trump’s election to the presidency, hate crimes have been increasing all over the country. It’s as if Trump being put into office has suddenly given people a mandate to be xenophobic assholes. The following happened on November 11, 2016.

A man approached a University of Michigan student and demanded she remove her hijab or else he would set her on fire with a lighter. The student complied. The university immediately called the off-campus incident a hate crime and Ann Arbor police say they are investigating the incident. The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said the “alleged attack is just the latest anti-Muslim incident reported since the election of Donald Trump as president.”[1]

Despite these unfounded criminal acts, some Muslims are hopeful that the American Democratic process that put Trump in office will protect them. Whether or not it will, I guess we will have to see.

“In my heart, I believe there is a system, a law in the United States [that will protect minorities],” Sifan, 52, told The Daily Beast. “I tell my kids, the CIA and the FBI, since [Trump] becomes the president, they start giving him reports and directions.” Sifan said he is hopeful that the new information from intelligence agencies will restrain Trump’s rhetoric and help him focus on the real issues. “Because [the campaign was] politics. Now, he is the president.”

Maybe we should give Trump’s establishment a chance. Maybe, just maybe, there is a sliver of hope that is some kind of closeted progressive that will usher our nation into a time of unprecedented growth and progress. Or, maybe not. However, what is clear is that Trump is somewhat malleable and is capable of changing his mind on things, as we have recently seen in his views on gay marriage. When asked about the possible over-turning of landmark LGBT marriage legalization, Trump said the following:

“These cases have gone to the Supreme Court. They’ve been settled. And I’m — I’m fine with that,” he said.[2]

Maybe this shows that his view on Muslims and Latino-Americans can change too. After being asked about what he could say about the reports of his supporters harassing Latinos and Muslims, Trump said this:

“I am so saddened to hear that. And I say, ‘Stop it.’ If it — if it helps,” Trump said, turning from Stahl to another camera positioned inside his Trump Tower apartment. “I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: Stop it.”2

It’s clear that Trump’s rhetoric has a palpable effect on the actions of his supporters. The President-Elect has an opportunity to showcase that he is capable of compassion and empathy, no matter how much of a sociopath he may be. Though the past week or so has shown the uglier sides of America, there is potential for Trump to change this. If he advocates for tolerance of those that are not White Christians, maybe his fan base can come to the realization that this is the twenty first century and we shouldn’t be threatening to set fire to people’s public displays of their own religions.


  1. You address a very prominent problem in the US post-Trump's victory. I have heard of similar cases of racism at USC, with students citing that minorities have "no one to protect them now." But the reality of it, as you state, is that Trump is a flip-flopper. He said things during his candidacy to gain votes that he does not actually believe in. Thus, I do not believe anything drastic will happen regarding Muslims - or any minority - during Trump's presidency, but I believe the bigger effect of his presidency will be the uniformed citizens who think that under Trump it is okay to be racist.

  2. This situation really shows how Trump's election might have even worse consequences than his presidency due to the connotations of what it means have a man like him (the list of hateful adjectives that came to mind while writing this is concerning) as the president of the United States. Whether Trump's presidency involves policies that detrimentally affect Muslims or not, the mere fact that he was elected is already seen as a green light for religious and ethnic differentiations amongst U.S. citizens. I only hope this is just a temporary consequence of the over sensationalization of Trump and what it means to be a Trump supporter. If his outlandish personality is continually given steam, his racism and sexism will endure amongst his followers, and Muslims will continue to get harassed for expressing their belief and culture.

  3. When it comes to the issue of Muslim Americans under Trump's America, I fear his supporters and the more right-wing politicians than I actually fear Trump. As people above me have said, Trump is a flip-flopper. But what I fear is how his statements seem to be a green light for the xenophones and religiously prejudiced to feel comfortable in targeting Muslim Americans. When I read headlines and articles that liken Muslim Americans to Japanese Americans during WWII, my heart breaks. When I read articles that report that some people believe the internment camps give a precedent to do the same to Muslim Americans today, I'm livid. The election left me pessimistic and cynical, but I'm optimistic that there are enough empowered voices in America to prevent an event like the camps from happening ever again. At the same time, even though there weren't any camps after 9/11, there was still a registry of Muslim Americans, and in the end that accomplished nothing. Hopefully as time goes on, open and educational conversations will overpower fear and ignorance.

  4. With this new administration, Muslims, to be blunt, have a lot to fear. Considering Trump's proposed ban on Muslims entering the country; his appointment of Michael Flynn and Steven Bannon to his White House staff; and the blatant racism of his campaign, Muslims should be on high-alert. If Trump reinstates NSEERS and starts tracking Muslims, Arabs, Iranians and those from the Indian sub-continent should be afraid. Despite Trump's supposed softening, those whose adhere to the laws of the Qu'ran should be vigilant and check President Trump's power.