Donald Trump doesn’t give a damn about Muslim women.
I demand The Donald to not feign any interest in the status of Muslim women after he has spent an entire year trying to convince the country that we should ban Muslims from entering the United States. He has played one of the most pivotal roles of our American public figures since 9/11 in flaring up anti-Muslim sentiments.
Immediately after he made his comments about a Muslim ban in December 2015, Muslim women feared for their lives again before stepping out of their homes. A sixth-grade Muslim girl allegedly had her hijab ripped off her head before she was beaten and called “ISIS” by a group of boys on the playground last fall. A Muslim woman was shot at as she was leaving a mosque in Tampa, FL, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Trump’s comments are not surprising. They speak to his complete and unrelenting ignorance of Islam.
Muslim women are the lightning rods of our society’s rampant Islamophobia — and Trump’s response to Ghazala Khan exploits, as well as directly attests to that. He misattributes Khan’s silence beside her husband Khizr onstage at the Democratic National Convention to cultural oppression rather than a Gold Star mother’s grief at losing her son to war. Ironically, the oppression Muslim women fear — and that poses the largest threat to our lives in the U.S. today — is the one that Trump instigates.
Muslim women are the lightning rods of our society’s rampant Islamophobia — and Trump’s response to Ghazala Khan exploits, as well as directly attests to that.
In 2001, our last Republican president’s wife, first lady Laura Bush, delivered a historic radio address in which she urged the nation to "speak out in horror" about the plight of Afghan women. To rally public support for America’s war in Afghanistan, she called on “civilized” people to rescue Afghan women from the Taliban, speaking on Afghan women’s behalf and insinuating their voicelessness, docility, and passivity.
This effectively silenced the Afghan women on the ground taking active roles in civic society and their own autonomy. In doing so, we laid the foundation for a reckless military intervention in the Middle East that, in retrospect, disproportionately impacted women and children. These are the wars that claimed the lives of Humayun Khan and hundreds of thousands more Muslims in the Muslim world.
Ironically, the oppression Muslim women fear — and that poses the largest threat to our lives in the U.S. today — is the one that Trump instigates.
His entire campaign has rested on kicking our generation’s scapegoat — a marginalized community that has already had to deal with its fair share of hardship, adversity, and racism, much at the expense of Muslim women. Even if we set aside the “moral compass and empathy” that Khizr Khan says is required of any leader, Trump is also lacking a very rudimentary understanding of the issues — as well as the Constitution — that is required for this office. It’s a testament to our country’s politic that he has been able to get this far in the election.
At the very least, it makes me content to know that if Trump were to lose his Islamophobic, racist, sexist, and fear-mongering campaign, it will be in part thanks to an old brown Muslim immigrant with a funny accent, and the proud, strong, resolute Muslim woman standing by his side, as unflinching, unrelenting, and upright as a pillar.