Muslim and Arab Americans express increased vigilance in response to surging hate crimes

How Communities are Dealing with Hate-Motivated Attacks

Arabs, Muslims, and Jews Share Their Experiences

CNN recently asked Arabs, Muslims, and Jews in America how they are facing the new reality of hate-motivated attacks against their communities. The responses revealed a range of emotions, from fear to defiance, as individuals navigate the rising wave of discrimination and violence. Here are some of their stories.

Jews Facing Anti-Semitic Attacks

Nicole, a Jewish woman, shared her unsettling encounter in Alexandria, Virginia. Walking through an affluent neighborhood, she was accosted by a man who targeted her for wearing a hijab. He made derogatory comments about Hamas and Israeli women. Nicole, who has been wearing a hijab for most of her life, expressed deep concern over the growing anti-Muslim sentiment in the US. She fears that the hostility could escalate into violence.

Muslims and Arabs Living in Fear

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) reported an “unprecedented” surge in anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bias incidents in the weeks following the Hamas attack on Israel. Tragic instances, such as the stabbing of a 6-year-old Palestinian American boy in Chicago, have shocked Muslim and Arab communities. A Muslim postal worker was also attacked while wearing a hijab. Many individuals in these communities have expressed that they are experiencing levels of Islamophobia similar to those after the 9/11 attacks. They are now urging the Biden administration to take stronger action against anti-Muslim and anti-Arab prejudice.

Taking Precautions for Safety

Abdallah Jwayyed, a Palestinian American, has felt compelled to take measures to protect his family amidst the rise in hate crimes. He now carries a concealed weapon when going out and has removed any symbols that might make him a target. Jwayyed and his family have stopped buying Israeli products and only shop at an Arab grocery store. Their goal is to boycott any company that sympathizes with Israel.

Living in Fear of Being Targeted

Mona, a Muslim woman wearing a hijab, has become anxious over her safety. She limits her trips outside, avoids social gatherings, and refrains from publicly showing solidarity towards Gaza. The death of a Muslim pediatrician, Dr. Talat Jehan Khan, has further shaken her. To quietly demonstrate her support, Mona wears a necklace in the shape of the Palestinian territory close to her heart.

Fighting for Recognition and Inclusion

Yasmeen Abou-Sayed refuses to alter her lifestyle due to the ongoing conflict. Instead, she has become more involved in advocating against anti-Muslim and anti-Arab sentiment. When her children’s school district failed to address Islamophobia in a statement condemning antisemitism, Abou-Sayed and other parents took action. They reached out to the superintendent and the board of education, resulting in an updated statement that acknowledged the importance of addressing Islamophobia.

These stories illustrate the diverse ways in which individuals are grappling with hate-motivated attacks. Some are adjusting their daily routines out of fear, while others are becoming more vocal and engaged in combating discrimination. As conversations continue, it is evident that there is a collective call for change and a need for unity in the face of prejudice and violence.

Read More of this Story at – 2023-11-18 16:37:00

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