Opposing the rise of state-sponsored Islamophobia.

Author:Aziz, Sahar F.
Position:Voices of the Resistance
 
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Trump's electoral victory exposed our deep divisions. As some Americans believed we were progressing toward a more inclusive, post-racial society, a countercurrent of hate was swelling. With every step forward toward acceptance of difference in our multicultural society, our country was taking two steps back, to suspicion and hatred of the "other."

The election of the first African American president, along with changing racial demographics, multiplied the number and ferocity of right-wing extremists. White nationalist groups experienced a boom in recruitment. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of anti-Muslim hate groups nearly tripled between 2015 and 2016, from 34 to 101.

Yet many Americans were oblivious to this hate frothing underneath the thin veneer of American pluralism, diversity, and inclusiveness. So when Trumps bigoted statements against Muslims, Mexicans, and women whisked him to a presidential victory, some were shocked to realize that America is not so inclusive or religiously tolerant.

Trump's victory exposed that opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement was not about ensuring that all lives matter. Rather, it was a white nationalist counter-movement rejecting changes to a racialized criminal justice system that disproportionately incarcerates and kills black men and women.

Trump's victory brought rampant Islamophobes from the fringes into the mainstream. Political candidates, elected officials, and Trump's senior advisers unabashedly declare "Islamic terrorism" is the biggest threat to American national security. They justify state-sponsored Islamophobia that uses the full force of government authority to spy, investigate, deport, exclude, and prosecute Muslims.

Betraying America's identity as a nation of immigrants that welcomed tens of millions of Irish, Germans, Catholics, and Jews fleeing economic and political deprivation, Trump shut our borders to the world's most vulnerable.

Despite having endured horrific war crimes by both the Assad regime and ISIS, the Trump Administration condemned Syrian refugees as terrorists. Through an executive order issued just days after his Inauguration, Trump followed through on his campaign promise to ban Syrians from entry. What is their offense? Being Muslim. Guilt by association, not individual responsibility, animates this partial "Muslim ban."

Trump's executive order barred anyone from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. Tens of thousands...

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