Asalamu Alaikum, Dear community members,
The election of Donald Trump to be the next President of the United States has sent shock waves among Muslims in America. Because of his anti-Muslim rhetoric during the long campaign, there is a huge amount of anxiety and even fear among Muslims of all ages as to what the immediate future holds. Amazingly, there is news that early Wednesday morning the Canadian immigration site crashed from the large number of people who were exploring a new home!
Surveys have shown that there have been upticks in Islamophobia in our country, especially during the election cycles. The false concerns about “Ground Zero Mosque” and “Sharia Law imposition” peaked precisely during the past election cycles. This new cycle took Islamophobia to another, dangerous level, when calls were being made to ban Muslim immigration and even require Muslims in this country to register and carry the registration cards with them.
Muslims are not alone in facing this discrimination. Latinos and African Americans also face difficult challenges. Among undocumented residents, Latinos for the most part, the fear is real that deportations will dramatically increase, leading to breakup of families and hardship on children. African Americans, who are being killed by police, are likely to face even lower levels of justice and support for their concerns.
What are we to do?
First and foremost, we should trust in Allah swt and seek His help. Indeed, He has said that there is ease with hardship.
Second, we should bond together as the community, providing support, counseling, exchange of information, etc. Our bonds with our institutions and groups should strengthen.
Third, we should increase our engagement with other faith and civic groups – not only for receiving support, but also for offering help in the civic projects. This will only show our values of justice and caring put into practice.
Fourth, since we are joined in this anxiety by Latinos, African Americans, people with disabilities and other minorities, we should show support to them as they show support to us. After 9/11, Muslims began to appreciate the importance of interfaith. After Trump’s election, it is quite likely that we will realize the importance of creating coalitions with other minorities. This will be the biggest blessing coming out of this calamity, inshallah.
Fifth, seek protection from local law enforcement in cases of violence or potential violence. Law enforcement officials have been very accommodating to our concerns, as they are required to, and we should not shy away from seeking and accepting their help. The Prophet Muhammad (S) left a great example of this for us, as he sought and received tribal protection from the idolaters.
Sixth, your CIOGC is in contact for the FBI, Cook County DHS and DuPage County DHS. They have reached out to us and offered their help in investigating any threats and providing support. So, report any threats – through phone or internet – to CIOGC for seeking help for you.
Dr. Mohammed Kaiseruddin
Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC)