An anti-Muslim narrative has shaped policy for decades. The travel ban will make it worse.

no ban 1The Supreme Court of the United States yesterday upheld President Donald Trump’s decision to institute a ban on immigrants, refugees, and visa holders from five majority-Muslim countries yesterday in a 5-4 decision.

The ruling did not come as a surprise to me.

I’m a lawyer, educator, and Muslim woman who focuses on racial justice. My work is all about interrupting the process of dehumanization that leads to crimes against humanity on marginalized groups. I’m devastated about the Supreme Court’s decision, but we saw this coming.

I often hear good-hearted people say that certain incidents are “un-American” or don’t represent “their America.” But suggesting this ban is unique erases our nation’s ugly history of anti-Muslim sentiment, one that sits within a larger picture of systematic racism against many other groups.

The “travel ban” — a term that sanitizes what is in fact a Muslim ban — is the latest in a series of policies that have targeted Muslims inaccurately seen as agents, or agents-in-waiting, of a dangerous foreign “ideology” that needs to be eradicated. These anti-Muslim narratives are sponsored by a million-dollar industry, pushing rhetoric like the takeover of “sharia law” in America through “think tanks” like the Center for Security Policy that provide fodder for conservative commentators like Newt Gingrich.

Islamophobia is not simply interpersonal hatred or fear. It is a system of bigotry that identifies and targets those who are Muslim or perceived to be Muslim, no matter what their race or country of national origin.

FULL ARTICLE FROM VOX 

 

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The Twisted View of Muslim Americans in the Trump Era

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In a new survey from the Democracy Fund Voter Survey Group, political scientist John Sides and researcher Dalia Mogahed examine the attitudes of Americans toward their fellow citizens who are Muslim. Many of the results are not surprising, but nevertheless disturbing: Nearly 1 in 5 Americans, for example, think Muslim Americans should be denied the right to vote. And Muslim Americans are considered to be less proud of their Americanness, and more accepting of violence, than other Americans.

I recently spoke by phone with Mogahed, who directs research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, or ISPU, to discuss the study. During the course of our conversation, which has been edited and condensed for clarity, we discussed how Trump is changing the views of both Republicans and Democrats toward Muslim Americans, why terrorist attacks may matter less to public opinion than political rhetoric, and the connection between xenophobia and authoritarianism.

Isaac Chotiner: What’s your biggest takeaway from the study?

Dalia Mogahed: That there’s this enormous gulf between the reality of American Muslims and many Americans’ perception of them. As someone who studies American Muslims, I can empirically point to evidence of, say, Muslims being the least likely American faith group to condone violence, according to several studies, and yet the most likely to be associated with being predisposed to it.

FULL ARTICLE FROM SLATE 

Islam is an American religion too, Mr. President

la-1528926282-7g54hgucfx-snap-imageThursday night is Eid, when followers of Islam gather together with friends and neighbors to celebrate the end of Ramadan, a month of daily fasting.

Since 1996, when then-First Lady Hillary Clinton began the tradition, the White House has hosted an “iftar” — the daily fast-breaking dinner — during Ramadan. It has been a staple of both Republican and Democratic administrations, an opportunity to celebrate Ramadan with the American Muslim community, the leaders of its civic groups, its imams, its writers, artists and entertainers.

But not in the Trump administration. President Trump, whose animosity towards Islam and the Muslim community is well documented, didn’t host an iftar at all last year. This year, he honored the tradition with a dinner on June 6. But the representatives of American Muslim groups were not invited to the White House. Instead of community and religious leaders from across the United States, the guests included foreign ambassadors and dignitaries from Muslim-majority countries. It was as if the president hosted a White House Seder but with no American Jews invited.

In his remarks at the dinner, Trump avoided Ramadan’s devotional message of reflection and sacrifice. He used the occasion to reminisce about his visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he received a hero’s welcome and made deals that have fomented more enmity in the region, particularly between Iran and the Saudis.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE LA TIMES 

Nearly 1-in-5 Americans would deny Muslim American citizens the right to vote, new report finds

safe_imageCurrent public perceptions of American Muslims are distinctly unfavorable.

That’s according to multiple surveys from the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group, including the 2017 Views of the Electoral Research (VOTER) Survey, which assessed viewpoints of 5,000 Americans, all of whom had been previously surveyed in 2011, 2012 and 2016.

» RELATED: Muslims in America, by the numbers

The Democracy Fund Voter Study Group is a collaboration of nearly two dozen analysts and scholars from across the political spectrum.

In the group’s new “Muslims in America: Public Perceptions in the Trump Era” report published in June, researchers found that on average, Americans believe that only 51 percent of Muslim Americans respect American ideals and laws.

Nearly one-in-five Americans would even deny Muslims who are U.S. citizens the right to vote.

Stereotyping is strongly related to cultural conservatism and views were even more polarized among those favorable to President Donald Trump, the report found. For example, Democrats believe that a majority of Muslims (67 percent) wanted to fit in, yet Republicans believed only 36 percent did. And when comparing Muslims and Christians, Democrats evaluated Muslims slightly more favorably than Christians (+15 vs +11), whereas Republicans evaluated them much less favorably (-4 vs +24).

The gap between average ratings of Muslims and Christians among Trump supporters: -10 vs +25.

FULL ARTICLE FROM AJC.COM

How Trump stirred controversy in Nigeria

Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari became the first president from sub-Saharan Africa to visit Donald Trump’s White House on Monday. But even after they neatly avoided Mr Trump’s alleged comments about “shithole” African countries, the US president managed to stir controversy in Nigeria, writes the BBC’s Stephanie Hegarty from Lagos.

_101115295_beb3e7c1-df0f-4f9a-9f4b-c307cc84940dPerhaps warning bells rang when Mr Trump started off asking Mr Buhari how he was getting on with “that Boca Haram”, a reference to militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

But then again, maybe that slip of the tongue was predictable.

Less so was what he said next, as the former reality television star weighed in on the conflict between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria’s Middle Belt – or the way in which he would frame it.

“We have had very serious problems with Christians who are being murdered in Nigeria,” Mr Trump said. “We are going to be working on that problem very, very hard because we cannot allow that to happen.”

‘Genocide’?

The US president showed little understanding of a very complicated and intensely politicised crisis – one which has a battle between nomadic cattle herders and settled farmer over access to land and grazing rights at its centre.

But perhaps it should not come as any surprise. Mr Trump has always been quick to jump to the defence of Christians in conflicts such as Syria and Iraq and comments like this play well to his base among Evangelical Christians in the US.

But his point of view also plays into popular feeling among some Nigerian Christian groups.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE BBC 

The blue Muslim wave: American Muslims launch political campaigns, hope to deliver ‘sweet justice’ to Trump

Fayaz Nawabi has never met President Trump. But he credits the president with convincing him to run for office.

Nawabi, a 31-year-old candidate for San Diego City Council, supports almost everything that Trump opposes: He is pro-affordable housing, pro-environment, pro-immigrant and pro-refugee. That makes him part of the blue wave of new liberal candidates spurred to run by Trump’s election and policies.

But Nawabi is also part of a notable subset: the blue Muslim wave.

Although their number seems small, the candidacies mark an unprecedented rise for the nation’s diverse Muslim community that typically has been underrepresented in American politics.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE WASHINGTON POST 

Mike Pompeo, Trump’s pick to replace Tillerson, has long worried Muslim advocates

TUITMLZBUEYO3NSHTPOQTLFWSEMike Pompeo, the former Kansas lawmaker and CIA director President Trump unveiled Tuesday as his pick to run the State Department, has long worried Muslims and human rights groups for his sweeping statements about Islam.

There have been rumors for months that Trump would do what he did Tuesday — fire Rex Tillerson and replace him with Pompeo — and Muslim leaders and their allies have expressed concern about Pompeo’s singling out of and suspicious posture toward Muslim Americans. Pompeo has been honored by and has appeared with U.S. advocacy groups that have criticized Islam.

After the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, Pompeo — then a member of Congress — falsely accused American Muslim organizations of not condemning terrorism. Despite a steady stream of such condemnations since the Sept. 11 attacks — including many in the hours after the Boston attacks — Pompeo accused American Muslims of being “potentially complicit.” On the House floor, weeks after the Boston attacks, he said condemnations hadn’t been sufficient. “It casts doubt on the commitment to peace by adherents of the Muslim faith.”

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE WASHINGTON POST