Sometimes it’s difficult for us to determine the scope of the consequences that result from our actions–or someone else’s. The current presidential administration has made no secret of its distaste for the Islamic faith in addition to immigration in general. With a base made up of far-right wing nut Republicans, what effect is the Trump extremism having on Muslim Americans who have lived here all their lives? It’s a combination of good and bad.
Trump (in)famously declared that he thinks “Islam hates us” during his 2016 presidential campaign when asked if Islam is engaged in war with the western world. He claimed that Muslims are rapists. What it really boils down to is his and his supporters’ belief that America is for white people only. When confronted with white supremacists in Charlottesville, Trump implied that they were “very fine people.” He proceeded to tweet and retweet videos made by nationalistic political organizations with a knack for spewing hate at Muslims.
Not surprisingly, members of these same crazed right wing groups carried out a whopping 71 percent of extremist-related murders here at home. Right wing groups. Not Muslims. White supremacy was directly tied to over half of all extremist-related murders last year. It might as well be Trump policy, because he and his supporters are certainly responsible for it. They should be held accountable as well.
His words have had predictable consequences for the Muslims here at home, most of whom have faced an increased rate of harassment and racially motivated violence ever since. This type of violence skyrocketed about 45 percent during 2017. Naturally, these people are incapable of discriminating only against their targeted group. They’ve mistakenly identified South Asians, Sikhs, Hindus, and other Arabs as belonging to the Islamic faith during their deranged attacks. We haven’t seen levels of violence this high since the year after 9/11.
The silver lining?
This wave of extremism has also led to more Muslim-American candidates, who are fighting tooth and nail alongside many other like-minded individuals to take back this country’s values. There are more educators and women and varied ethnicities and religious backgrounds in the mix, too. Not only that, but the number of registered voters in these demographics is climbing substantially, and so is the financial situation thanks to donors. The tide is shifting to swallow the right wing. It’s about time.