Washington: Fear and shock were expressed by the American Muslims after Republican Donald Trump was confirmed as President of the US after months of anti-Islamic stands.
The Republican made his most controversial remarks about Islam in December last year, sparking anger among the world’s 1.5billion followers of Islam when he called for a ban on Muslims entering the US after a mass shooting in California, the Daily Mail reported.
For the editor of the Muslim section of Patheos, a website specialising in spirituality, Dilshad Ali had never felt the fear of Trump until now.
“I woke up today and I finally felt it. It felt personal, like the election was a vote against me,” the 40-year-old mother of three told CNN ON Wednesday.
More than seven in ten Muslims had said they would vote for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, according to an October survey by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Just 4% had said they would vote for Trump, and perhaps as few expected him to win.
“Our worst nightmare has materialised… A man that built his platform on bigotry, misogyny, and the vilification of Muslims and minorities won the highest office in the land,” said Wardah Khalid, a writer and foreign policy analyst.
Yasir Qadhi, a well-known Muslim scholar in Memphis, Tennessee, said: “Shock. Complete and utter shock”.
“All of us are genuinely worried. I fear for the safety of my wife in ‘hijab’; of my children in the streets; of minorities everywhere struggling to understand what happened,” Qadhi told CNN.
Sahar Aziz, a professor at the Texas A&M University School of Law, said Trump’s election represents a regression to a less tolerant and inclusive America.
“The general mood I am seeing among Muslims is concern that a Trump presidency will be open season on them. Some Muslims worry their children may experience bullying at school because Trump’s victory validated the mainstreaming of Islamophobia. Some women are afraid to wear their headscarves in public in case this invites physical or verbal assault.”
Other Muslims said they feared that Trump will install anti-Muslim activists, whose work he has promoted, in powerful roles at the Justice Department and other agencies.
“We could go back to that post-9/11, witch hunt-type environment,” said Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, a scholar and co-founder of Zaytuna College, the country’s first accredited Muslim college.
According to a latest survey in 2016, there are 3.3 million Muslims living in the US, about 1% of the total population.