For many Muslim-Americans, this year has been one filled with sorrow (Chapel Hill murders, refugee crisis), horror (ISIS continual destruction, Charlie Hebdo massacre) and hurt (Ben Carson’s rhetoric, anti-Islam rallies). Activists say that these factors have contributed to an unprecedented climate of overt discrimination, and an unfortunate uptick of Islamophobic incidents in many areas of the country
“I can say I’ve been working at this organization for over three years, and the number of instances, and the general atmosphere in the country, it’s more than I’ve ever seen,” reports Madihha Ahussain, attorney for Muslim Advocates in Oakland. “And a lot of people who’ve done this a long time – there’s talk about how it seems even worse than after 9/11.”
However, as the Christian Science Monitor reports, it’s not all bad news. For instance, last week, most of the anti-Muslim rallies dissolved; interfaith groups and supporters outnumbered mosque protesters in Oregon, Florida, and Michigan. And then, there’s Ahmed, the teenage clockmaker, who has now charmed everyone from President Obama to Mark Zuckerburg.
“But this is an issue for all of us as Americans,” says Catherine Orsborn, Director of interfaith campaign, Shoulder to Shoulder. “It has to do with our American identity, this idea about who’s in, or who’s out.”