While we’re all still recovering post-election from the presidency of Donald Trump, let’s remember that the possibility of this outcome wasn’t entirely a surprise. In “Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age,” a Trump presidency is precisely what we all feared could become the spark to ignite full-blown Islamophobia.
In Chapter 5, author Amani Al-Khatahtbeh says, “It seemed to me that the Brits around me were suddenly confronted by the stark reality of their makeup, a truthful reminder of their nation’s racist history that, even in 2016, the country just couldn’t seem to shake off. I imagine it’s how we Americans felt when we somberly watched the poll numbers rise in favor of Donald Trump, when we introspectively watched during the primaries as states, one by one, like dominoes, bolstered his rise. I fear the feeling I will have when the same thing happens as states flip to red in favor of Trump during election night.”
This is unfortunately a reality we now have to face. The book discusses that “the racism was supposed to stay politely tucked away within homes and at dinner tables.” But the steady rise of attacks against Muslims in the United States aren’t a foreign concept to many who have been quietly–and without media coverage–been victims of the years-long preview that such a presidency has now officially legitimized.
What we can do now is understand, empathize, and act. Mobilizing around the effect of this election is the only way we can move towards much-needed progress.
To read more about the Muslim experience in a post-9/11 America, as well as a potentially Trump-run America — purchase “Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age” here.