With Donald Trump having been voted in as President elect, Muslims and other minorities in America have braced themselves for an increase in racist attacks across the country. This is, after all, the same man who advocated banning all Muslims from entering the United States, declared with the utmost seriousness, ‘I think Islam hates us,’ and called for the surveillance of US mosques.
This discourse is one that clearly appealed to a large segment of the American population, and with Trump’s win, America has already seen a notable increase in Islamophobic incidents reported across the country.
In particular, Muslim-American women wearing hijab have faced the brunt of Islamophobic incidents and racial hate following Trump’s election.
Near the University of Michigan campus, police reported that a woman was forced to remove her hijab after a man demanded she remove it or he would set her on fire. The woman complied and was able to leave the area.
A Muslim teacher in a Georgia high school said someone left her an anonymous note in her classroom on Friday, telling her that her “headscarf isn’t allowed anymore.” The note also told her to “tie” her headscarf around her neck and “hang yourself with it.” It was signed off “America,” alongside with a drawing of the American flag.
Across Twitter, Muslim American women have expressed their fear over wearing the hijab:
My mom literally just texted me "don't wear the Hijab please" and she's the most religious person in our family....— jannatinㅤ (@harryonmen) November 9, 2016
If you don't feel safe to wear hijab in your area, please reach out to a friend/have a call-buddy/don't walk alone whenever you're out.— Narjis Naqvi (@narjisfn) November 9, 2016
Guys, a trump supporter tried pulling off my hijab... This is not a joke anymore, all non-whites have become targets. Stay safe— bye (@Palestixian) November 9, 2016
Islamophobic sentiment has been gradually increasing in the US over the duration of the election campaign. An NBC poll conducted in December 2015 found that 25 percent of Americans supported Trump's Muslim ban, increasing in March 2016, with 51 percent favouring Trump's Ban "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on". However, while attacks on Muslim Americans were already high, with hate group experts linking the uptick to his candidacy, the situation appears to have intensified since his win.
Yet amid the increase in hate crimes and racist rhetoric, signs of tolerance and compassion have shone through, with many American’s promoting religious solidarity within this turbulent political climate:
If Trump actually follows through with trying to register all Muslims, can we agree that we'll all just register as Muslim?— Maxwell Zorick (@maxwellzorick) November 12, 2016