It has been interesting experiencing the election and post election reactions in Africa.
I was in Bamako, Mali eagerly anticipating the results. I constantly kept refreshing my computer screen and when the lights began to flicker I knew the electricity was about to give out. I decided it was time to give it a rest and I closed my laptop. Pulling the mosquito net across my bed I felt a world away, both physically and figuratively, from a place I often referred to as “home” when strangers would ask where I was from. It didn’t quite feel like home, rather a foreign place that didn’t want any part of me. None of me.
The following morning I woke up to the news that Trump had won. I sat at the breakfast table with my heart resting heavy in my chest as French TV blared and images of Trump and Clinton rotated on the screen. The rest of the world was equally invested in the U.S. presidential elections. For this, I was a little surprised but it further proved the point that U.S. foreign policy truly set the political tone for the rest of the world. This fact was undeniable.
I scrolled through my Facebook timeline searching for some sort of solace (also in an attempt to avoid talks of American politics at the table.) As I swiped through my timeline I came across countless stories of Muslim women being physically attacked, homes spray painted with vulgarities, nasty notes left on peoples cars and places of worship targeted with hate.
No surprise to me.
My Blackness has always been a threat. My gender has always been a point of contention. My faith has always roused a sense of fear.
I am a Black Muslim woman. The embodiment of everything that America hates.
So, when non-Black Muslims came out whining and crying about how awful a Trump presidency would be for Muslims I side-eyed them.
Side-eyed them reallllyyyy hard.
Some people went as far as saying that “Muslim is the New Black…”
My jaw dropped. Nothing will ever be the New Black. Muslim immigrants enjoy the benefits of being in this country. Living in good neighborhoods, having the financial ability to send their children to decent schools and a sense of community.
Since when did the existence of America ever become a good thing for Black folks?
America been good to y’all. So, please don’t complain to me. I am not the listening ear, especially when you try your best to distance yourself from anything remotely related to Blackness. But you like Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X. They will forever be the homies.
I am the wrong person to whine too. Not today!
Then I thought to myself…
Should I have empathy? Perhaps a little understanding? I should feel something, right?
It is too hard to feel anything close to empathy. The same communities that look down on Black people and perpetuate the same anti-Black attitudes are now looking for support. Muslims that preach about Islam and its racial equities but fail to practice any of it are holding out a hand for understanding. Some would argue and say that this is now the time to build bridges of solidarity.
Sure, I get that…
I still take issue with certain Muslim communities that have to be convinced that #blacklivesmatter and who have absolutely forgotten about the mass injustices committed towards other groups of people in America. I’m not even bringing up indigenous Americans. This post would go on for days.
Injustice is still relevant, even if you aren’t the victim. This is America, remember anyone has the risk of being victimized if you aren’t the status quo.
As a Black Muslim woman, I have a deeper interest in building alliances with marginalized non-Muslim groups before I work with anti-Black Muslim communities. This is the honest truth.
Black Muslims already know the deal. Mainstream politics never favor our interests. I don’t know when Arab and South Asian Muslim fell for the facade that America actually loved them.
Don’t nobody love you.
Black Muslims know the hostility that this country has always brought forth and are the outright victims of its policies. Some of us convert to Islam thinking that religious salvation will rid us of the racism we endure. We are persecuted for both our Islam and Blackness. Black people are too familiar with this. All of this. For us Trump is just the embodiment of the true face America has always had. A face that our forefathers faced with impunity and a face that our grandparents and parents fought so hard against.
Though unwelcoming it is a face of familiarity and it has always existed. Many communities who emigrated to the U.S. still remain absolutely oblivious.
This country doesn’t want you just as much as it doesn’t want Black folks. Doesn’t matter if you come with an IT degree from India or a medical degree from Lebanon.
This is the everyday reality for Black people in America. Some Arab and South Asian Muslims want to assimilate into society so badly, to the point that they will ignore the injustices other groups are facing. At times, they will even perpetuate the same racist attitudes of mainstream America. Now those same injustices are only relevant only because they, themselves, are the victims. Like I mentioned earlier, injustice is still relevant even if you aren’t the victim.
At the mosque Omar is your brother in Islam until jummah prayer is over. Any other day you won’t even acknowledge his ‘salaam’.
Not so brotherly or sisterly in the real world.
Big Black Omar might save your Muslim ass now.
4 thoughts on “Black+Muslim+Woman+Trump”
Assallaam Allaykum Warahmattullah Wabarakatuh. I love the way you explained, and I agree with you about that. But, not all Muslims from middle east and southeast Asia are like that. Culture and their traditions, but not Islam drive some of them to behave like that. Islam is the only religion that is more inclusive than others with respect to every angle. But, don’t forget either, even Black Americans and black Africans have their own cultural baggage. It is their cultural Islam not Islamic culture that makes SOME of them feel that way. Not only about black, even some new Muslims from other racial background such as Hispanics complain or feel the same way. Another thing, it depends where are you located in U.S., leadership in your area, how long they have been in U.S., assimilation to the society, and degree of racism in that locality. In area where I am living, our Muslim community is more diverse than ever from management and leadership level to the bottom. It is more inclusive than ever, and there is a little degree of racism and mistrust among our muslim community. I admit that, there are some areas need improvement from both sides. We all need to left behind our traditional cultural baggage, and shower ourselves with Islamic values, characters, principles, and behaviours according to Quran and Sunna. Islam must be first than my racial heritage, nationality, national-culture or gender. Also, intermarriages and regular meetings in our communities is very important so that we can understand ourselves better.
Where I can get A MUSLIM AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMAN(MUSLIM AMERICAN BLACK FEMALE) for marriage? Or which good website where I can meet Muslim black female to Marry??
Wa alaikum ma Salam Mashuti, thanks for reading. I agree with everything you said and think your points are valid. In an ideal Muslim community we would rid ourselves of cultural baggage, and you are right many Black folks have this issue as well. We carry a lot, post slavery syndrome to be included. With that being said, the post was really in reference to racism within the Muslim community in relation to the Trump presidency. Black folks are an exception, with Native Americans, in the sense that we have experienced the brutality of this country since it’s inception. Muslims from the Middle East and South Asia are only realizing this due to the fact that they are becoming victims of the racism embedded in this country. What community are you in?
This is spot on. I’ve long been troubled by the racism and prejudice that takes place in many mosques. It seems a lot of the immigrant populations don’t appreciate all of the ground work that black people, including black muslims, have put in before they arrived and unfortunately the narrative of Islam in the US is often told through the perspective of immigrants, especially Arab and South Asian.
I’d like to think us Muslims could be united in and out of a Trump America but we have a lot of work to do before that is the case. We can’t claim to be one ummat when a Pakistani or Arab parent would rather disown their child than see them marry a black man or woman (or even a darker person of their own ethnicity). Fighting islamophobia starts in the mosque.
I enjoyed reading your perspective on this.
You summed it up with one sentence. “Fighting Islamophobia starts in the mosque.” Thanks for reading! 🙂