Anti-Muslim hate crimes rise over summer

Hate crimes amplify fear among Muslim students


Pearl Ashton

Muslim students take a stand against hate and bigotry. They refuse to let their voices be silenced in a climate of fear and violence.

Sarah Al-Barkawi, Opinion Editor

2017 has been a difficult year for Muslims around the world, especially during this past summer. Muslims have been primary victims of hate crimes ever since 9/11.

However, current president Donald Trump spreads anti-Muslim messages across the U.S, which has inspired Islamaphobes to take action and even physically hurt and abuse Muslims, mosques, and allies. There are a number of examples of hate crimes starting in Portland, Oregon where one of the most gruesome hate crimes occurred this summer.

One Muslim girl and her friend were being harassed on a train by a white supremacist male yelling derogatory slurs and waving a machete.

Two bystanders noticed and stood up for the girls however, instead of calming the man down one of the bystanders was decapitated (Kaleem). This was unfortunately not the only brutal murder to target a Muslim based on their faith.

In Virginia, 17 year-old Nabra Hussein was on her way back to the mosque when she was abducted and later found dead in a river. Nabra’s death was considered to be the result of a hate crime.

So what is a hate crime anyway? The Oxford English dictionary describes a hate crime as “typically one involving violence, that is motivated by prejudice on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, or other grounds”. Nabra’s and Portland incident are both results of hate crimes.

According to a report shared by The Council on American-Islamic Relations, “the number of hate crimes in the first half of 2017 spiked 91 percent compared to the same period in 2016.” If people do not stand up to these hate crime it is only a matter of time until the number of crimes will keep rising.

Muslim students at Taylorsville High School had a lot to say about their fears of being attacked.

Sophomore Khadija Ali (real name withheld) said, “Discrimination, hate, murder is all we ever get in this country and the thing is we are the ones trying to survive here. Our own countries are at war. We can’t go back and Muslims being attacked or killed makes me angry. We’ve never done anything to you.”

Junior Najwa Rayaan (real name withheld) had a different response.

She said, “Everyone who gets hurt or gets killed is automatically reported to the media but with us Muslims, we are constantly being ignored and that’s ignorant. We bleed the same blood and breathe the same air, yet we aren’t human enough for you. When did prejudice become an excuse for this country?”

These students reactions show Muslim students at Taylorsville don’t feel safe being here in America but are angry about all the negative outrage against them.

As a community we are supposed to fight the ignorance, bigotry, negative influence in the media because the most violent element in our society is hate.