What if crowd who swarmed U.S. Capitol had been Black or Muslim?

On CNN Wednesday, as a mob of Trump supporters stampeded through barricades and broke through windows and stormed the U.S. Capitol in a violent insurrection, commentator Van Jones voiced the thoughts crashing around in so many of our minds.

“I have heard people looking at small protests in Portland, Oregon, where people were tear-gassed, beaten, kidnapped, and they said, ‘No, no, no. Whatever you do to those protesters is OK because we have to have law and order. We have to have law and order,’” Jones said, even as the chyron below his head reported a woman in critical condition after being shot on Capitol grounds and an armed standoff in the House chamber. (The woman later died.)

Law and order?

“This is rebellion,” Jones continued. “It is treason. It is lawlessness. It is unacceptable.”

He continued: “I’m calling on all of my conservative friends, my Republican friends to say, ‘What would I do if Black Lives Matter dropped 30,000 Black people on the nation’s capital and laid siege to the seat of power in the middle of a joint session of Congress and broke in? What would I say if Black Lives Matter did that? If Muslims did it? If Muslims dropped 30,000 Muslims on the seat of government in the middle of a joint session of Congress and ran in there and there was blood on the floor and tear gas? What would we be saying?’

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE GRAND ISLAND INDEPENDENT

Majority Of Muslims Voted For Biden, But Trump Got More Support Than He Did In 2016

A woman wears a hijab and an American flag mask during an Election Day celebration at Times Square on Saturday, Nov. 2020 in New York, NY. Joe Biden received a record-breaking 75 million votes during the 2020 Presidential Election against Donald Trump. (Photo by Erin Lefevre/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

It was almost two years ago that Shahid Shafi, a surgeon in Southlake, Texas, was targeted by members of his own political party for his Muslim faith.

A few Republican precinct chairs lobbied to remove him from his post as vice chair of the Tarrant County Republican Party. But they lost in a vote of 139-49.

“When I was attacked by a handful of people on the fringes of the Republican Party because of my faith, the entire leadership of the Republican Party, as well as the rank-and-file members, stood up to support me,” Shafi said.

The support of the majority of the party is what stayed with him, not the attack on his faith by a minority.

He was attracted to the party and public service when he became a citizen in 2009.

“I was born in India and grew up in Pakistan, and I came of age in Pakistan under a brutal military dictatorship,” Shafi said. “Growing up in that environment, I saw the overreach of the government, how it can invade and take over every part of a person’s life — from opportunities for education, to work, to where you can live, to whom you can marry, and where you can start your business.”

FULL ARTICLE AND AUDIO CLIP FROM NPR

Anti-Muslim bigotry fueled by Trump has a ripple effect that hurts all Americans

Reflecting on the damage done to our country during the Trump presidency, the worst of them was the division he caused through his hateful rhetoric against minorities, including his extensive anti-Muslim diatribes.

– In 2011 and 2012, Donald Trump suggested that President Obama was secretly Muslim. It wasn’t true, but what if he were? Was this an insult?

– At a rally in 2015, Trump nodded along when a supporter told him, “We have a problem in this country, it’s called Muslims. When can we get rid of them?” Trump replied, “We need this question — we’re going to be looking at a lot of things”

– In 2015, Trump falsely claimed that thousands of Muslims cheered the 9/11 attacks.

– In 2015, Trump makes his infamous call to ban all Muslims from the United States. A few days later, he tweeted the United Kingdom was “trying to disguise their massive Muslim problem”

In 2016, Trump claims, “Islam hates us.”

After taking office, he appointed many Islamophobes to his team and inspired many others to come out and show their bigotry openly. One of them did so here in South Florida, declaring herself a “proud Islamophobe” and, sadly, was nominated by local Republicans to represent a South Florida district in Congress. She lost, but, tellingly, more than 150,000 people voted for this “proud Islamophobe”.

Taking inspiration from Trump’s hateful rhetoric, a terrorist in Christchurch, New Zealand, killed 51 people at two mosques last year. The killer cited Trump as a “symbol of renewed white identity.” Sadly, the White House failed to describe these attacks as the acts of terror that they were.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE MIAMI HERALD

‘We should be thankful to him’: why some Muslim voters stood by Trump

Despite the president’s anti-Muslim policies, the margin between Trump and Biden among Muslim voters was closer than experts predicted.

Dr Khalid Khan is an internal medicine physician in Houston, Texas. Even in the face of a pandemic that has cost almost a quarter of a million American lives, and an administration that often seemed to demonize Islam, the doctor and self-proclaimed devout Muslim cast his ballot for Donald Trump.

“When you eat a dish, you might not like every ingredient. But you like the whole dish. We should take the good and leave the bad,” Khan said, comparing the US president to a mediocre meal.

‘Corrosive to democracy’: what do Trump’s baseless claims really mean?

 Read more

Trump spent much of his presidency pushing anti-Muslim policies. Trump’s travel ban that targeted mainly Muslim countries in 2017 sparked outrage not just from American Muslims but from Senator Bernie Sanders; the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer; and the then US senator for California and now the vice-president-elect, Kamala Harris.

“Make no mistake – this is a Muslim ban. Broad-brush discrimination against refugees and immigrants from Muslim-majority countries, most of whom are women and children runs counter to our national security interests, and will likely be used as a terrorist recruitment tool,” Harris said at the time.

But despite Trump’s policies against the religious group, some Muslims like Khan, still voted for him. In fact, the margin between Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden among Muslims was closer than experts predicted, revealing Muslim voters are not a monolithic bloc and can be courted by Republicans, even when apparently targeted by their policies.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE GUARDIAN (UK)

Poll reveals record Muslim vote in US election

LONDON: More than one million American Muslims participated in the 2020 US election, with nearly 70 percent voting for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, an exit poll has showed.

The poll by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said US Muslim voters turned out in “record-breaking numbers” in Tuesday’s election.

It said of 844 registered Muslim voter households, 84 percent reported that they voted in the election. “CAIR would like to thank the more than one million American Muslim voters who turned out in record-breaking numbers this election cycle,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.

The poll said 69 percent of their registered Muslim voters voted for Biden and 17 percent for President Donald Trump.

It noted that Trump received 4 percent more support of the Muslim vote, compared to the 2016 election, in which then he received a 13 percent.

CAIR said the poll was conducted using an independent automated call survey provider and asked two questions to the registered voters: Did you vote in the Presidential election? and Which presidential candidate did you vote for?

Muslim voters were expected to play an important role in the election, particularly with the large Arab Muslim population in Michigan, a key battleground state.

Arab News reported this week this week how Arab Americans in particular have consistently had some of the highest turnouts at polls among ethnic communities.

An Arab American Institute (AAI) survey before the election revealed that 59 percent of Arab Americans supported Biden while 35 percent backed Trump.

FULL ARTICLE FROM ARAB NEWS

Study: 2016 election negatively affected mental health of Muslim college students

The 2016 presidential election was linked to considerable mental health declines among Muslim college students, with religious Muslims seeing the largest declines in mental health, according to a University of Michigan researcher.

Sara Renee Abelson, a doctoral candidate at the U-M School of Public Health, and colleagues found that the proportion of Muslim students experiencing clinically significant mental health symptoms rose 7 percentage points over the changes experienced by all other students when comparing data from the 14 months post-election to the 14 months prior.

Before the election, 22% of Muslim students screened positive for depression, anxiety or an eating disorder, compared to 34% after. For non-Muslims, the portion of students who screened positive for a mental health disorder rose from 21% before the election to 26% after the election.

The findings highlight the links between sociopolitical events and mental health, with potential negative consequences for educational and social outcomes among affected groups, according to the study published this month in JAMA Pediatrics.

“Schools and other communities need to consider these concerns in their efforts to support young adults, and researchers should improve understanding of causal mechanisms and potential prevention and intervention strategies,” said Abelson, the study’s lead author.

“Our results suggest that the election of a politician who uses racist rhetoric and advances exclusionary policies may harm the mental health of young people in the targeted group.”

FULL ARTICLE FROM MEDICALXPRESS

CAIR Condemns Trump’s Latest ‘Racist and Xenophobic’ Attack on Muslim Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned President Trump’s “racist and xenophobic” national origin-based attack targeting Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) in which he claimed that one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress is not part of “our country.” 

During a rally yesterday in Pennsylvania, Trump claimed, “How did you do where you came from? How is your country doing? She is telling us how to run our country.” Omar, who emigrated to the U.S. from Somalia as a child, is an American citizen and an elected member of Congress. 

Morning Joe: ‘Rarely Do You See Bigotry as Explicit As’ Trump’s ‘Fascist’ and Autocratic Rally Last Night 
https://www.mediaite.com/tv/joe-scarborough-rarely-do-you-see-bigotry-as-explicit-as-trumps-fascist-and-autocratic-rally-last-night/ 

In a statement, CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert S. McCaw said:

“No one should be surprised that President Trump has once again engaged in a racist and xenophobic attack on Representative Ilhan Omar, but everyone should continue to feel outraged by these disgusting remarks. 

“Donald Trump’s attacks on Representative Omar are particularly reprehensible given that she has shown far more respect for American ideals of justice and equality than the man who has spent four years trampling on the Constitution.

“All members of Congress must repudiate President Trump’s latest hateful remarks, and the U.S. Capitol Police should take steps to protect Rep. Omar from people who may be radicalized by the President’s persistent attacks on her.”

FULL ARTICLE FROM PRNEWSWIRE

How the Trump Administration Has Harmed Faith Communities

How the Trump Administration Has Harmed Faith Communities

Getty/John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe

Black clergy members stand with other attendees during a Mass for racial healing on Castle Island in South Boston on June 13, 2020.

  • OVERVIEWPeople of faith have suffered under the Trump administration’s attacks on civil rights, religious freedom, and health and economic well-being.
  • PRESS CONTACT

See also: Connecting the Dots: How the Trump Administration Misuses Religious Freedom To Create a License To Discriminate” by Maggie Siddiqi, Kurt Mueller, Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons, and Sharita Gruberg

Introduction and summary

There is a commonly held but misleading perception in U.S. public discourse that the Trump administration’s policies have been largely favorable to faith communities. This is based on the administration’s narrow understanding of religion and public policy—one that privileges the concerns of a select group of conservative white Christians, mostly evangelical, who by no means represent all of America’s faithful. Rather, this subset has a narrow focus on policies that discriminate against LGBTQ people and stigmatize reproductive health services, including abortion, presenting a very skewed representation of religious Americans’ public policy concerns. While the Trump administration purports to help this narrow band of religious Americans, the reality is that many of its policies have harmed all religious communities—particularly religious minorities.

To understand the needs and concerns of all American faith communities, it is important to first understand the religious diversity of the nation. While 3 in 4 Americans identify with a religious tradition, only 15 percent identify as white evangelicals, according to the 2019 American Values Atlas Survey.1 Yet this small proportion of the population tends to garner a disproportionate share of attention concerning religion in the public discourse on national politics. Their concerns certainly dominate how the Trump administration’s impact on faith communities is perceived at large.

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Public opinion polling reveals that even the so-called benefits of the Trump administration to those select faith groups crusading against reproductive and LGBTQ rights are rejected by majorities within faith communities other than white evangelicals. According to the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), majorities of white mainline Protestants and Black Protestants say abortion should be legal in most or all cases, as well as a plurality of Catholics.2 The vast majority of U.S. women of faith have used or currently use birth control.3 The PRRI also found that majorities of all major religious groups in the United States support government-backed health insurance programs covering contraceptives and supporting nondiscrimination protections for the LGBTQ community.4

FULL ARTICLE FROM AMERICANPROGRESS.ORG

MUSLIMS IN CHICAGO SAY THAT TRUMP’S STATEMENTS HAVE PAINTED A TARGET ON THEIR BACKS

By Arnab Mondal
Medill Reports

As Dilara Sayeed, a 51-year old Muslim in Chicago, entered an office building for a meeting, she had an experience which she had thought almost unthinkable a few years ago.

Besides her office attire, Sayeed was also wearing a colorful hijab, a symbol of her faith. Sayeed is a social activist, an educator and a Harvard alumna. She also ran for election in the Illinois House of Representatives to represent District 5 in 2018. As such, her work and achievements, rather than her religion, had been at the forefront of most interactions.

As Sayeed got into the elevator, however she was confronted by an elderly white woman, a complete stranger, who said she would go to hell for wearing the hijab.

Sayeed said she hadn’t experienced this kind of negativity since she was growing up. “People used to yell things like ‘Go back to your country’,” she said. “I even got bullied constantly at school because of my religion.”

The situation had improved over the years as the Muslim community in Chicago grew, and people became more understanding towards Muslims. However, everything changed again when Donald Trump became president three years ago.

FULL ARTICLE FROM MEDILL REPORTS

Column: Nothing divides America more than tossing politics into a heated religious debate

Since the founding of America, religion has been at the center of many of the most contentious conflicts our nation has encountered. We should have known it would be only a matter of time before the church was inserted into the coronavirus pandemic.

Throughout history, religion has brought us together when our survival as a nation was under siege. But just as often, it has ripped us apart when politicians sought to use it to justify selfish deeds.

The unholy alliance between religion and politics is an effective tool in creating discord, dissension and division. That’s why politicians find it so appealing.

The debate over whether churches should be included as essential businesses that are allowed to reopen during the pandemic began before Donald Trump officially entered the fray on Friday. But like everything he touches, the focus is now all about him.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE