Just two days after Trump's election, reports of anti-Muslim attacks spike
Like millions of voters and minorities, the upset victory of Donald Trump on Tuesday night was not a pleasant situation for the seven-million-strong American Muslim community that was at the receiving end during the controversial 2016 presidential election campaign. Hence, an urgent question for the American Muslims is how they will be treated by the forthcoming administration of Donald Trump.
With this in mind, nine Muslim and Arab civil-advocacy groups held a joint press conference in Washington DC on Wednesday to offer reaction to the election of Donald Trump as the nation's 45th president. They were joined by the National Council of Churches of Virginia.
Muslim groups have called upon the President-elect Donald Trump to respect the rights of all Americans and pledged to work with the new president to strengthen the nation. The Muslim groups also called on President-elect Trump to unite all Americans under the Constitution.
The Muslim groups emphasized that they fully cherish the democratic process of the country in which they endeavored to participate this election season by launching voter-registration campaigns and drives to motivate the Muslim voters to go out and cast their vote.
Nihad Awad, National Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), told the press conference "as citizens of this great nation, we accept the result of the democratic process that has bound us together as one nation.
"Regardless of who won or lost yesterday's election, American Muslims are here to stay. We are not going anywhere, and will not be intimidated or marginalized," declared Nihad Awad of CAIR, which is America's largest Muslim civil-liberties and advocacy organization.
The CAIR official went on to say that the American Muslim community will continue to mobilize to challenge bigotry, to uphold justice and to protect the freedoms and rights of all Americans. In this respect, he added, American Muslims will increase outreach to their fellow citizens of other faiths and backgrounds to build bridges of mutual understanding and cooperation.
He assured the frightened Muslim community that his organization will continue to be a fearless and principled defender of the Muslim community, regardless of who leads our nation. "To those in the American Muslim community who are fearful of the future, know that America is your home and you have the same rights and responsibilities as all other Americans. Rest assured that CAIR is here for you, your family and your children."
Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, Director Outreach at Darul Hijra Islamic Center, Falls Church, Virginia, said we support the political process of this country and recognize the work done by each individual community in upholding the values and principles of a democratic process.
He hailed the acceptance speech of Donald Trump and hoped that "we will move together as one nation, a call for national unity, a commitment to rebuild the social fabric and cohesion of America and to stand for civil rights and civil liberties of everyone."
As an American, as an African-American and as a Muslim, we believe in these values and principles and intend to hold every elected official to the standard of democracy, Imam Johari added.
Ilhan Cagri of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) said last night represented a shift in American landscape and exposed a deep division in our nation. "This presidential campaign did not create these divisions but reminding us how changing demographics in our country have created fear and hysteria in some leading to unrest and a fractured society," she added.
We accept the result of the election because we believe in the principle of democracy and peaceful transfer of power, Ilhan said, adding: Engagement is needed now more than ever and MPAC will redouble its efforts for seeking common ground with the left or right, those who are disfranchised and left out.
Rev. Steven Martin, Communications Director of the National Council of Churches of Virginia, expressed concern over the level of fear in the American Muslims who are very worried about their future and about their economic future. "We hear daily incidents of hatred and bias against our Muslim brothers and sisters.
"We are deeply respectful of the democratic process and it is necessary to stand behind our leaders and we pledge to do so," Rev. Steven Martin said, adding: But we also call upon leaders, those who are newly elected, to exercise their power with compassion, with care and with deep concern for all Americans so that no one is left behind. So that we all prosper. It is this kind of America where we all be able to exercise true faith, a faith that is found in freedom.