To add to that, she said, there is “hysteria” about sharia law and the recent rise in measures against critical race theory, which asserts that historical patterns of racism are embedded in American law and other modern institutions, and the dozens of states that have introduced legislation to combat it.
Farah Pandith, an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, who served as the country’s first special representative to Muslim communities in 2009, says that September 11 brought about a “seismic change” in American Muslims’ personal psychological existence.
Muslim identity was defined by others all at once, and the constant hostility took a tremendous toll on her mental health, she said.
Muslim students in the United States are being asked to explain Osama bin Laden, she explained. Her words: “You are seeing the scaling of hate, the rising of a fear-based narrative around Islam.” She said.
After the election of Donald Trump, Crown Point, Ind., native Asmaa Abdeldaiem, 19, feared for the safety of her Egyptian-born parents, who had relocated to the U.S. from Egypt after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
She talked about being born into a world where she didn’t feel like she belonged. On September 11th, she always hoped it would fall on a weekend so that she wouldn’t have to attend school and be the only Muslim in her class and feel embarrassed or guilty.
Many people’s first impression of me is that I’m Muslim, she explained. A great deal of responsibility rests on my shoulders.
Even so, she is armed with resources that those even a decade older than her had not. As a teenager, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh founded MuslimGirl, a media company aimed at correcting misconceptions about Muslim women and giving voice to their experiences. “We built up that support system that we wish we had when we were children, to make it more survivable for the new issues that have come to the surface,” she said.
Since her audience was about half Muslim and half non-Muslim by the time Trump began to push his ban on citizens of certain countries with a majority of Muslims entering the United States. Justice movements for minorities have united to form a new guard, she said.