SHAFAQNA – Muslims in America are more vulnerable to bigotry and Islamophobia as a result of Donald Trump’s behaviour and actions than they were after the 9/11 attacks, according to a leading Muslim activist.
As the country approaches the anniversary of Mr Trump’s first year in office, Ibrahim Hooper said such was the level of anxiety and apprehension, many Muslims were fearful to public display signs of their faith. A number of Muslim women, for instance, were deciding not to to appear in public wearing the veil.
“It’s not just Americans Muslims [who feel anxious],” Mr Hooper, a founder of the Council On American-Islamic Relations, told The Independent. “We have have seen white supremacists emboldened under Trump.”
Mr Hooper said many people of colour and members of minority communities had been deeply dismayed by a large number of Mr Trump’s actions, including his Muslim travel ban and his administration’s crackdown on undocumented migrants.
He said the President’s failure to speak out against white supremacism and extremism – as in the aftermath of neo-Nazi-led violence in Charlottesville in August which left one woman dead – had the impact of allowing such views to become mainstream.
Many white supremacists, including former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, praised the way Mr Trump responded to the violence, claiming that there was blame “on all sides”.
“It’s worse now than even after 9/11. He has empowered and mainstreamed white supremacy and bigotry,” he said. “After 9/11, bigotry was under the rocks and hidden. Now these bigots are out in the open and saying they are proud of their bigotry.”
Asked if he believed the alleged increase in Islamophobia was the result of Mr Trump’s presidency, he said: “There is no other explanation.”