During Sunday’s debates, the candidates were both asked to address the issue of Islamophobia. Donald Trump called Islamophobia “a shame,” and said that Muslims must do better to “report when they see something going on.” Little did Trump know that he shares something with the Muslim American community, a deep love for social media.
Enter College professor Moustafa Bayoumi who responded with the biggest tweet of the night (at 84k retweets and 160k favorites in under 24 hours) with “I’m a Muslim, and I would like to report a crazy man threatening a woman on a stage in Missouri. #debate”
“The idea that Muslims have to report things is what prompted me to write the tweet,” says Mr. Bayoumi. “As if Muslims have some special knowledge of terrorism. I certainly don’t. I’m not a terrorist. I don’t know any terrorists. As if we somehow need to prove our legitimacy to stay in the country. I think those are the sorts of prevailing assumptions behind the statements Donald Trump is constantly making.”
Mr. Bayoumi teaches Postcolonial Literature and American Studies at Brooklyn College, and has written a number of books including “This Muslim American Life” and “How Does It Feel To Be A Problem” on what it’s like to be Muslim in post 9-11 America.
The author says he feels that anti-Muslim sentiment has gotten worse since the election. “We’re living in an environment that’s increasingly polarized and sees Muslims more and more as outsiders and as a threat to this country.”