Young And Muslim: How The Election Of Donald Trump Has Impacted Muslims In Arizona

By Naomi Gingold
Published: Thursday, December 1, 2016 - 7:09am
Updated: Friday, December 2, 2016 - 5:35pm
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There has been a surge in hate crimes since the election of Donald Trum, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

During the presidential campaign, Trump called for a ban on Muslims. His current transition team has spoken of potentially creating a Muslim registry and has even highlighted one of America’s darkest eras in history, the internment of Japanese, as a potential model.

All this talk has had an impact on members of the Islamic community in Arizona.

Kristy Sabbah used to be a computer programmer in South Dakota. But she’s lived in Arizona now for years and has four daughters.

Sabbah said the day after Donald Trump won the election, her 13-year-old’s teacher asked the class if any of them were fearful.

“And she raised her hand and every Hispanic person in the class raised their hand," Sabbah said. "She was the only Muslim in her class. But she’s like, it was me and all the Hispanics. We raised our hands saying we are fearful of what’s to come. That’s hard, as a parent… to hear that.”

Sabbah is the operations coordinator for the Coalition on American Islamic relations in Arizona or CAIR Arizona. It’s a civil rights and advocacy group.

Her 13-year-old daughter is close to the age when she would start wearing a headscarf, but Sabbah said her daughter is so worried about the potential for Islamophobia related incidents that she might delay putting it on.

Imraan Siddiqi is the Executive Director of CAIR Arizona. “Right now we haven’t had an upswing in hate crimes as yet. Thankfully,” Siddiqi said.

But he said hate crimes can frequently go unreported.

CAIR AZ has now launched a website called HateHurts.net. Siddiqi explained that it’s, “Basically a way of aggregating all of these crimes that are out there in the news but are floating under the radar.”

It’s focus is nationwide but the site is run by CAIR Arizona.

Siddiqi said they’ve had messages of support from different faith communities and that now is the time for coordinated activism.

CAIR AZ also has programs to teach people their rights and are working to highlight how Muslims contribute to American society every day.

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