By Ayesha Ulhaq
By Ayesha Ulhaq
London – During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump targeted the Muslim community in America, making comments about both the religion and its people.
In an interview with CNN, in March 2016, Trump made the following comment; “Islam hates us” and, to this day, he has not held back on his opinions of Muslims.
Although Trump has changed his stance on his Muslim registry proposal, it is unclear whether he made these statements only to help strengthen his campaign and gain publicity.
Regardless, the Muslim-American community remains anxious about whether a Trump administration will lead to the surveillance of Muslims living in America.
Ibrahim Hooper, a representative from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), told Al Jazeera; “We witnessed a spark in the number of hate crimes against Muslims in late 2015, and this number increased further during Donald Trump’s election campaign”.
“I think these statistics are just a fraction of what we see on the ground right now, Donald Trump just named a white supremacist as chief strategist. We have no reason to believe things are going to get better for the American Muslim community or other minorities any time soon.”
The Dar al-Hijrah Mosque in Northern Viriginia has been scrutinized ever since the 9/11 attacks. When news broke out that two of the hijackers involved in the attacks prayed in this mosque, law enforcement officials began to pay regular visits. It didn’t help the mosque that it previously had, Anwar al-Awaki as an Imam. Awlaki is believed to have shifted his beliefs from mainstream Islam to one of a violent ideology, during his stay in Yemen
According to media organization NPR, however, Dar al-Hijrah’s current Imam, Johari Abdul-Malik, reassured the local Muslim community that “Islam will not only survive, but it will thrive.”
“For anyone who feels anxiety about the current political crisis and what you hear in the public discourse, I am completely confident,” Imam Johari Abdul-Malik was quoted as saying.
The regulars at this mosque are a diverse group of people. Many of them are security guards, housewives, educators and doctors. The name of the mosque ‘Dar al-Hijra’ translates to “place of migration’ and between the people of the mosque, they speak 37 languages.
During his speech, Iman Abdul-Malik reminded the community that there are countries where Islam is under “far greater pressure”, as he spoke about a Muslim woman’s experience of living in Albania, where they have banned the practice of Islam.
Abdul-Malik invited FBI Agent Paul Abbate, head of the bureau’s Washington DC field office, to assure the Muslim community of West Virginia that the FBI agency are ‘determined to treat Muslim-Americans fairly.’ Leaders of Dar al-Hijrah have been working with law enforcement agencies to help build a relationship with certain authorities.
Many Muslim’s, however, still fear that they will be subjected to feeling like outsiders and will no longer be welcome in America during Donald Trump’s presidency.