They are afraid that since the Supreme Court ruled that they would support President Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban that prevents Muslims from Iran, North Korea, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia from entering the country, that other Muslim countries could get on this list. (One can only hope).
Because of the very real political, emotional and mental impact this ruling has had on the Muslim community, a website called HerCampus spoke with a network of college women to ask Muslim students how they were feeling right now. Not just about the latest development, but to also look deeper at how all of it (the ban, the rhetoric and discourse surrounding it, all the emboldened anti-Muslim sentiments) overall affects their mental health as they try to live, worship, study and just exist during this difficult time.
First-off, they very much feel the effects of the ban, the constant coverage of the ban & how it plays into their identities as Muslims in America.
Nishat Tarin, Hofstra University “The constant coverage has made feel like I’m not welcomed in a country founded and created by immigrants because of my religion. (You’re not) My religion plays a major role in my identity (that’s the problem), I’m Muslim and no one can take that away from me. (No one wants to take away your religion, we just want you to practice it in a Muslim country) However, I’m beginning to feel like I can’t fully express who I am anymore because of the strong bias against Muslims (We are so sick of hearing your constant whining).
People who know my name can easily assume my religion since the names are so distinct. These policy changes make me feel like those who are not Muslim feel a sort of pity for me. I constantly wonder if others think I pose some sort of threat to them and whether they will fully accept me or not (You DO pose a threat and everyone looks at you funny because of it). The Muslim travel ban certainly feels as if I’m not welcomed anywhere in this country, all because of the religion I identify with.” (You’re right about that)
Aliza Siddiqui, UC Berkeley “The developing news of the ban has simply made me more aware of the anti-Muslim sentiments that have been growing in America since 9/11. I view the Muslim Ban as a culmination of those anti-Muslim sentiments —fear, negativity, hatred, hostility, and acrimoniousness towards Muslims — that started on 9/11 (And has been followed up by hundreds of Muslim attacks and averted Muslim attacks in America and tens of thousands around the world since then).
It’s not made me feel unsafe; it’s simply made me more aware and more attentive. I’m more wary about my religious identity now, and I’m more careful to steer clear of anything that relates to Muslim talk, or Islam. It’s not concealment or avoidance per se, it’s an attempt to avoid talk that causes divergence and opposition among an already divided public.” (Good, the last thing anyone wants to hear is more crap about Islam)
They notice an emboldened group of people spreading ignorance and Islamophobic sentiments but also know it’s part of a deep-seeded, older problem in the U.S.
Nishat Tarin, Hofstra University “The introduction of Trump administrations Muslim travel ban did not necessarily increased anti-Muslim sentiment rather [implied] that the biases against Muslims are true. The ban basically showed that Muslims from the Muslim majority countries on the travel ban list pose a significant threat and that they should not be tolerated. “(Correct)
“People are not afraid to say racial slurs anymore, recently this random guy on the street called Muslim women who wear hijabs, “Towelheads.” I’m beginning to see the hatred more openly now.” (Your Islamic supremacist headbag is offensive to Americans )
Rue, Georgia State University “The amount of ‘Islamophobia’ that’s being spread is insanity. I deal with it by showing people what Islam truly preaches, which is peace. (Islam means “submission, NOT peace, so you are lying to them) It’s a sad time when a religion is judged on a few [individuals] rather than the religion itself. What’s worse is the billions of Muslims that have to deal with the constant media bias surrounding us.”(You reap what you sow)
Amasil Fahim, Saint Louis University “It made me realize that the people around me weren’t who they seemed, after years of knowing them. Classmates I went to school with, that were my acquaintances and even friends, were showing support for this ban and ignoring the fact that it was a hateful attack directed on me and my people. (Thank God for Donald Trump. People don’t have to pretend to be politically correct anymore)
People who I thought cared for and supported me were for this ban that targeted one of my identities and that saddens me deeply, knowing I have to go to school everyday and face them…” (Go back to your Muslim country. Problem solved)
And it definitely weighs on these young women, affecting their mental health and day-to-day lives.
Aliza Siddiqui, UC Berkeley “I try to avoid the news altogether and pretend nothing’s truly happening. It’s easy for me to do so because I have no one from those specific Muslim ban countries, but I cannot imagine how it must be like for other Muslim students. It makes me feel stressed and anxious about what would happen if it were extended to Pakistan or Oman or Bahrain, all of which are countries I have grown up in, was raised in, and spent my childhood in. (Give him time, Trump will get around to banning Pakistan sooner or later)
Those are Muslim majority countries too, and if they are included in the travel ban, it would hit my heart close. I would be very extra worried then —not because I have any family who needs to come to the US from there, but because I know that there are millions of families who do.” (Millions more Muslims is the last thing America needs)
Rue, Georgia State University “…It’s as if you can’t practice your religion in peace anymore or be anything other than what’s acceptable. Where is the love? The beauty of America is that it’s a land full of immigrants none of us, none, actually are native to this land.” (But you’re the only ones who refuse to assimilate)
Nishat Tarin, Hofstra University “It certainly affects my mental health because today it was these specific countries, more countries can be added. (Hopefully, soon) I’m Bangladeshi-American and Bangladesh is a Muslim-majority country and I wouldn’t be surprised if Bangladesh was added to the list. (Well after all, the Muslim who drove his van into a crowd of people in lower Manhattan was from Bangladesh)
Most of my blood relatives live in Bangladesh and the thought of me not allowed to see them because of accusations portrayed on the media devastates me. I’m anxious, worried and stressed because none of us did anything wrong to feel those emotions constantly.” (You can go visit them, you just can’t come back)
Amasil Fahim, Saint Louis University…I worry everyday I go out that someone is going to say or do something to me because of my religion and how I visibly represent it. It makes me feel incredibly anxious because, while my home country is not currently on the ban list, I know the Trump administration is just itching to find a reason to put it there and it scares me because I have so much family there and that means I might never be able to see them again. (You can see them there. Buh Bye!)
I have my mother, who is going to visit in a few months. What if while she is visiting the ban is put on that country? What would happen to her how would she get back? These worries constantly plague me.” (She can stay there, then you can go live there, too)
They have ideas for how campus communities can better support their Muslim students.
Nishat Tarin, Hofstra University “Campus communities should create safe spots where Muslim students can actively speak about the negative experiences they face. (Safe spots are for pussies) Also, if any of us are faced with an ‘unjust’ experience, we should get our justice (Oh look, a future spokesjihadist for CAIR). Schools, universities and workplaces should have a zero tolerance for any racial slurs and bias.” (What ‘race’ is Islam?)
“Show love and support and give information that show [the truth]… Let people know why my religion is nicknamed ‘the religion of kindness.’ (Kindness? Oh, that’s a new one) Be there to call out the Islamophobia that is prevalent on our college campuses and not ignore it.” (It isn’t Islamophobia when you really are trying to kill us)