President-elect Trump proposed a ban on Muslims living in the United States during his candidacy.
“Shock. Complete and utter shock,” Yasir Qadhi, a Muslim scholar from Memphis, Tennessee, told CNN of Trump’s election. “And all of us are genuinely worried. I fear for the safety of my wife in hijab,of my children in the streets, of minorities everywhere struggling to understand what happened.”
Echoed Sahar Aziz, a professor at the Texas A&M University School of Law, “The general mood I am seeing among Muslims is concern that a Trump presidency will be open season on them. Some Muslims worry their children may experience bullying at school because Trump’s victory validated the mainstreaming of Islamophobia.”
“Some women are afraid to wear their headscarves in public in case this invites physical or verbal assault,” Aziz added.
Wrote one woman — who described herself as a “Black American Muslim Activist” — on Twitter, “I’m scared that today will be the last day I felt somewhat safe wearing my hijab.”
Last December — in the wake of the San Bernardino terrorist attack that killed 14 people — Trump first called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
The President-elect claimed that research showed that “there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population.”
“Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life,” he added in the statement, which was posted to his website.
Initially, politicians from both sides of the aisle criticized the plan, including Republican former vice president Dick Cheney, who said, “I think this whole notion that somehow we can just say no more Muslims, just ban a whole religion, goes against everything we stand for and believe in.”
Added House Speaker Paul Ryan at a press conference, “This is not conservatism. Some of our best and biggest allies in this struggle and fight against radical Islam terror are Muslims.”
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Even Vice President-elect Mike Pence called the proposed plan “offensive and unconstitutional,” reported CNN.
Later, in May of this year, Trump amended the planned ban, calling it instead only “temporary.”
“It hasn’t been called for yet,” he said. “Nobody’s done it. This is just a suggestion until we find out what’s going on.”
Other Muslim Americans told CNN that they hope that Trump’s election will allow other marginalized peoples to ban together. Explained Omid Safi, director of Duke University’s Islamic Center, “If we want to see an America that we are proud of, we have to build that America. It is not in our present, and was not part of our past, it can only be in our shared future.”