Muslim American women talk about raising hate speech and Islamophobia ahead of the US presidential elections
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 26: A Muslim woman, Sarah A. Aly, Mentorship Coordinator at Network for Arab American Professionals, poses for a photo during an exclusive interview for "Anadolu Agency (AA)" on raising hate speech and islamophobia ahead of the US presidential elections in New York City, NY, USA on October 26, 2016. In a part of interview Aly said, "For me, Trump is not the source or the epitome of my marginalization as a Muslim woman in this country. My first interaction with the state was at 15 years old, when the FBI came knocking at my door in connection with a Facebook status they deemed suspicious. It has continued since, the most recent being an undercover cop at my school, Brooklyn College, posing as a girl named Mel, inserting herself in circles of friends and spaces I organized in, for four years. It has become increasingly hard for me to form bonds and friendships with people, because I don't know how to trust anymore. For a very long time since, I've felt a longing to move back to Egypt, where my father is from. A lot of my friends and cousins don't really get it. I tell them I don't feel welcome in the states and they assume its because of incidents in the streets or racist comments and they tell me that I should get over that because I will still have a much better life in America than in Alexandria. But it isn't just the slurs or dirty looks. My discomfort here is not just a result of the shouts "go back to your country" that I can just joke about, saying I don't think I can go live at Lutheran Medical Center, where I was born. My discomfort is more constant, because the state has made it clear I don't belong here, clear that they viewed me as a criminal long before I even had any political views. It didn't take Trump for me to realize this. I've seen in in the home raids and the deportations of innocent family friends and I've seen it in hate crimes, and I've seen it in laws passed by Obama that strip a certain type of people, people that look like me, of our rights in the interest of "national security." In some ways, I'm actually glad that Trump is so bluntly xenophobic. He makes our reality much more obvious. The people who believed America was "post-racial" or colorblind are having a reality check, and he exposes America for what it is, and what it always has been: founded and built on racism."