These past few weeks has seen a startling increase in ultra violent hate-crimes against Muslims– from a 36-year-old Muslim woman who was horrifically set on fire in front of a pricey boutique in Manhattan, to the tragic murders of Imam Maulama Akonjee and his assistant, Thara Uddin in Queens, to the stabbing of a 60-year old Muslim woman, also in Queens, and finally, the recent arson fire of a Fort Pierce mosque which Omar Mateen once attended.
In this op-ed for The Guardian, activist Linda Sarsour, the Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York, says that the Muslim American community is “facing the most hostile environment since the immediate aftermath of 9/11.” And that “all Americans must speak out otherwise there will be worse to come.”
“Hate crimes against Muslims or those perceived to be Muslim has risen exponentially in the last year. All people of faith, Muslims included, should be able to practice their religion freely without fear and intimidation. Bigotry against Muslims has become the norm and often has no consequences. The irresponsible and rhetorical vilification of Muslims in this current election cycle is leading to violent acts against members of a faith community and it must stop.
It is time for all Americans to speak out. When we allow one faith community to be targets then we open the doors for others to be targeted…. In a time of growing tensions we must uphold our fundamental freedom to worship in the land of religious freedom and its why I choose to be unapologetically Muslim every day. As a Muslim woman, not only is wearing my religious headscarf in public an act of faith, but it has become an act of courage.”