Since the beginning of the presidential campaign in 2016, we have definitely witnessed an increase in hate crimes against Muslims, in particular Muslim women. Within the hundreds of legitimate cases filed regarding hate crimes, it is hard not to look at the very few people making false allegations, such as the recent claim of an attack on Yasmin Seweid, who falsified a police report claiming that three drunk Trump supporters harassed her on a New York subway.
It’s important to keep in mind that while it is true that there are instances in which hate crimes are fabricated, that doesn’t mean hate crimes don’t occur. Here are 8 reminders that despite the fact that Seweid’s report may not be real, Islamophobia is all too real in the world today.
1. When a London Terrorist Shouted “I Want to Kill a Muslim” and Stabbed a Man
And that was LITERALLY seven days ago. It was reported that “On Dec. 12, a passenger was stabbed at the Forest Hill train station in southeast London. Witnesses said the suspect, a 38-year-old male, shouted out several hateful phrases, including: ‘Who is a Muslim? I want to kill a Muslim?’ and ‘Death to Muslims.'”
2. When Lt. Colonel Allen West Posted About Exterminating Muslims on Social Media
E-X-T-E-R-M-I-N-A-T-E. Eliminate. Kill. Commit Genocide. AND HE ADDED A MEME.
He also served as a former Florida representative. The fact that someone who holds such high status is completely comfortable with talking about exterminating a group of people on social media where everyone is watching is more than enough of a reminder that Islamophobia is still present. By the way, this also happened this past month.
3. The Hate Crime Committed Against a Muslim Police Officer
If you’re still on the fact that Yasmin Seweid lied about three drunk Trump supporters harassing her in New York City, around the same time, an actual hate crime was committed against an off-duty Muslim police officer. NYC is diverse and has a large population of Muslims, but let’s not forget that this still happens.
4. A Teacher Told a Kid That She Wanted Him Deported for Being Muslim
Back in October, in the Academy of Excellence, a public charter school in Phoenix, Ariz., a teacher told a Muslim refugee sixth grader in her class: “I can’t wait until Trump is elected. He’s going to deport all you Muslims. Muslims shouldn’t be given visas. They’ll probably take away your visa and deport you. You’re going to be the next terrorist, I bet.” The child was also a refugee. This is one of the many cases in which political candidates have been used as a vehicle to spread Islamophobic rhetoric.
5. A Man Targeted an Islamic Center in a Hate Crime
On Oct. 19, 40-year-old Mark Feigin was arrested for allegedly making terrorist threats against the Islamic Center of Southern California. Feigin began making threatening calls to the center back in September, leaving vulgar messages in which he made his hatred for Islam clear.
6. A Veiled Muslim Woman Was Violently Shot Dead in France
Back in September, a woman wearing a headscarf was hit with five bullets, two bullets were fired in close range. An assault rifle was used, and six bullet shells were found at the scene. The victim was found in a car. That’s pretty real, right?
7. A Muslim Marine Recruit Committed Suicide After Abuse From Drill Sergeant
Even for Muslims who fight for our country, Islamophobia is still prevalent. Raheel Siddiqui, a 20-year-old Pakistani-American, committed suicide after a long line of abuse from his drill instructor. Some of that abuse included calling Siddiqui a terrorist.
8. A Muslim Woman Was Set on Fire Before 9/11
A Muslim woman had her blouse set on fire. She was wearing traditional clothing. And again, in NYC.
This was just the later half of 2016, as well. Again, stories are fabricated all the time. But don’t let a few fake stories invalidate the real-life experiences and fears Muslims face every day.