Fear Grips Brooklyn Muslims in Wake of Election


After a shocking presidential election many Muslims interviewed on the streets of Brooklyn feared that Donald Trump would follow through on denigrating their co-religionists and barring them from entering America.

“This country decides to elect a sexist, bigoted racist bully as a leader, which is horrifying to me,” said Zonaira Ali, 24, from Pakistan.

Trump’s perceived antipathy toward many groups had characterized his rambunctious campaign but he seemed to have aimed his sharpest arrows at Muslims.

“As a Muslim woman raised in New York, it’s scary knowing that anything and everything I do will come down to my beliefs or the religion I practice,” added Ali, outside Thayba Islamic Center in Brooklyn.

Other local Muslim  echoed this theme, envisioning a dark future for themselves, whether it came from Trump or those who voted him into office.

“I fear being targeted by Trump supporters,”Zeshan Bhatti, 22, said.

Some had a feeling of deja vu.

“I fear things will go back to the way they were against Muslims when September 11 happened,” said Ali.

“The thought crossing many people’s minds at this point is will Trump follow through with all the commentary he had to make about immigrants and actually isolate Muslims,” said Zoya C, president of Pakistani American Youth Society.“It was already bad enough that Muslims were blamed or linked to every bomb threat or terrorist attack after 9/11,” said Madeha Khalid, 23. “It makes me worry about the impact on Muslims in the U.S and in the rest of the world.”

The election, many said, would bring covert bias out of the darkness.

“Those who support Trump and his beliefs will have the chance to openly express their hatred as well for us,” said Khalid.

Ali said she planned to attend the “Not My President” march on Saturday November 12 at Union Square.

“I feel like we are going to be living in a modern Jim Crow Era,” said Khalid.

Photo by Saskia Newton

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