I am having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day in Trumpland as hate crimes escalate and the youth in the Muslim community react to a President they feel they had no choice in electing. In a reflection of its diversity, the Muslim community has shown a variety of responses to the election. Some think we have elected a fascist, some think people are overreacting, and some are already normalizing the situation.
Despite the fact that 400 Muslim leaders held a crisis conference call and a national summit is in the works, there is a lack of shurah among the community. Some Muslim leaders have already begun reaching out to the President-elect with this weak, oddly worded letter. Others are releasing statements of cooperation with this administration, while grassroots activists who deal with those most likely to be affected are pushing for resistance.
Valid concerns are being raised about how Muslim civil rights organizations could be targeted using the Muslim Brotherhood stamp, and as we watch the shenanigans of Muslim leadership in this country, others of us are already unconsciously adopting the language of victimization.
If Trump wasn't enough, check out, his “KKKabinet,”- George Takei
While the past eight years were horrible, terrible, and very bad for Muslims at home and overseas under the Obama administration, we cannot take this new administration lightly. No matter where you stand on Trump's election, the next four years will be a time of struggle with the potential appointments of John Bolton, Rudy Guiliani and Newt Gingrich for Secretary of State.
We have confirmed appointments of Lt Gen Michel Flynn as national security adviser and General Jeff Sessions as attorney general. Moreso, Frank Gaffney and Kris Kobach and White Nationalist, former Breitbart executive Stephen Bannon have been placed as top advisors, giving the Ku Klux Klan's David Duke thrills. That means rabid anti-Muslim thought will be at the head of the state.
As recently as 2001, Gaffney Jr. was reported as saying ““We're witnessing not just the violent kind of jihad that these Islamists believe God compels them to engage in, but also, where they must for tactical reasons, a more stealthy kind, or civilizational jihad as the Muslim Brotherhood calls it. We're witnessing that playing out, not only in places in the Middle East but also in Europe, in Australia, in Canada and here in the United States as well.”
—Quoted by Newsmax, October 2011
Trump's foreign policy team also includes Walid Phares, a Maronite Christian who trained Lebanese militants in ideological beliefs justifying the war against Lebanon's Muslim and Druze factions. “I can't think of any earlier instance a [possible presidential] adviser having held a comparable formal position with a foreign organization,” says Paul Pillar, a 20-year veteran of the CIA and a professor at Georgetown's Center for Peace and Security Studies.
“It should raise eyebrows any time someone in a position to exert behind-the-scenes influence on a US leader has ties to a foreign entity that are strong enough for foreign interests, and not just US interests, to determine the advice given,” writes Adam Serwer in his 2011 Mother Jones article.
Concerned about immigration
While No Fly Lists and The Terror Watch List are already in existence, Kobach has said 'the immigration policy group could recommend the reinstatement of a national registry of immigrants and visitors who enter the United States on visas from countries where extremist organizations are active'. Kris Kobach helped craft the controversial Bush-era NSEERS program, which required immigrants from 25 countries to register themselves with the federal government, based solely on the country they came from—24 of which were Muslim-majority. He was also one of the architects of Arizona's most racist law — SB 1070 —that gave local police the authority to stop folks based on the “suspicion” that they may be undocumented immigrants
“There were many Muslim immigrants who went to register because they felt if they didn't do anything wrong, after all what could have happened,” says Darakshan Raja of the Washington Peace Center, who was a witness to NSEERs wrecking havoc in her community.
“They were deported. Some were arrested. Others were thrown in prisons. Some were used for entrapments and preemptive prosecutions and the state successfully destroyed local communities.”
While allies have shared that they would show up to register if a registry was implemented Raja adds that “I would like to clarify, this has happened, and you didn't show up. On the contrary many supported all of these efforts under the post 9/11 policies.”
Hassam Ahmed, an immigration lawyer in the DC Metro, gives more details about the program that is being implemented. We must focus on preventing such programs from starting at all.
Here are some concrete action items for families:
I find solace in the words of the Qur'an: “And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.” Instead of panicking and giving in to the fear, I need everyone to take this opportunity really seriously. No one can afford to sit back and take it easy. So here's what you can do.
Go back to the Qur'an and seerah. Relearn what standing for Justice means. Increase your adhkar, fortify your soul, reset your moral compass.
Write to your local elected officials, your school board, your PTA, school principal, college provost, newspaper editor, to make them aware of your concerns.
Make sure your paperwork, your masjid, your non profit organization or business's paperwork is in order.
Check your health plan- sign up for next year. Make sure you use up your end of the year health benefits.
Check your immigration status. Generally, an application that you file is evaluated under law at time of filing. Make sure you file any missing paperwork as soon as possible. Follow up with your attorneys. If you are undocumented, don't panic but make a plan. Know that there are many seasoned people actively strategizing for your safety.
Widen your social media. If you get all your news and opinions from your own age group or people who think like you then you are stuck in an echo chamber. Also sift through the noise so you don't panic but get to real issues.
Report all acts of hate or aggression. Last year, I covered hate crimes in our county and county officials did not have any reports of acts against Muslims, because many Muslims do not report them.
Sign this petition and tell the Senate to vote no to Sessions and no to racism, and this one to tell Congress: reject Kobach or anyone who wants to bring us back to the days of Muslim registries.
Use this spreadsheet so you use your money to boycott the Trumps.
Divest from banks that invest in DAPL. #NoDAPL
Donate to CAIR Muslim Legal Fund of America, Muslim Advocates, Project SALAM – Support and Legal Advocacy for Muslims, The Aafia Foundation, National Coalition To Protect Civil Freedoms (NCPCF) and other civil rights organizations.
Here are some concrete action items for communities:
Invest in safety. As much as it I hate to say it (I get that many times funding is an issue), mosques and institutions need video surveillance and outdoor lighting. A solid safety plan – especially for sisters – needs to be implemented. Set up or pay for self defense classes for your community.
Check in on your community, especially the elderly. “My mother lives alone and rarely ventures out alone,” says Namira Islam, Executive Director of the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative, who is of Bangladeshi descent. “Immigrant and Muslim identities intersect and Muslim women face a rabid kind of hate. It is harder for women, especially elderly women,” she says.
Call every Black and Latino church in your community and pledge your support. Make a coalition if one doesn't exist. Spearhead this effort with your local masjid. We often wait around to have other people come to us. Remember those of us who do not belong to the following communities have not gone through anything like what the Black, Latino and Native communities go through.
Request a meeting with your local elected official from the mayor to the senator. There are ways to do this properly – ask local CAIR rep for talking points.
Set up a legal fund in your masjid. Don't reinvent the wheel. Look at Project Salam, the Muslim Advocates, Muslim Legal Fund, Muslim Justice league, these organizations have been working on cases under the current administration and know the ins and outs of the legal challenges facing us.
Reach out to students and student organizations from other targeted groups. Don't wait for them to reach out to you and yet hope that they will one day stand for you. Be there for them because you are Allah's ambassadors.
Push policy changes. Get your masjid or organization involved with nonpartisan faith based community organizers such as PICO or Industrial Areas Foundation.
Push forward: In the words of Professor Cornel West, “I have always feared for the future of America, because every democratic experiment is very fragile and I come from a people who've been enslaved, jim-crowed, hated and lynched — but we never lost our spirit; we never lost our willingness to love, to laugh, to live and to embrace others.”
Finally, remember this: We need to take a good hard look at ourselves. Fact is that things that we do not like in a person like Trump exist in our communities: Bigotry, racism, disrespect for women, corruption. Unless we make a commitment to weed these out of our own lives, our family, our friend's circle, our communities, our claims are hollow, our cries hypocritical.
“If Allah should aid you, no one can overcome you; but if He should forsake you, who is there that can aid you after Him? And upon Allah let the believers rely”. Surah Aal Imran 3: 160 So we go through the bad days and appreciate the good days and roll up our sleeves and get organized, keeping writing, keep recognizing why Allah sent us to this Earth, keep praying, standing firm for the most poor and the most oppressed.
نَصْرٌ مِّنَ اللَّـهِ وَفَتْحٌ قَرِيبٌ
The National Immigration Law Center
The Political Asylum Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project
Immigration Law Help
United We Dream
Immigrant Legal Resource Center