When Donald Trump first called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” Muslims and non-Muslims around the country braced themselves for what quickly became an election season charged with Islamophobia.
Over the last year, Muslim Americans have been subjected to attacks, hate crimes and political maneuverings aimed at vilifying their faith. The Huffington Post has /testkitchen.huffingtonpost.com/islamophobia/"}}">documented nearly 300 incidents of anti-Muslim violence, discrimination and hate speech so far in 2016. And hate crimes against Muslim Americans have soared to their highest level since the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11.
Just last month police arrested three men in Kansas ― two of whom expressed support for Trump ― and another Trump supporter in Los Angeles for plotting or threatening to kill Muslims because of their faith. In a powerful TED talk posted online Monday, Suzanne Barakat ― whose family members Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha were fatally shot in Chapel Hill, North Carolina last year ― spoke of the dangerous costs of Islamophobia.
For many Muslims headed to the polls on Tuesday, the risk of encountering hate and even violence seemed very real. Michigan law professor Khaled Beydoun posted a tweet on Tuesday morning encouraging Muslims to report any negative voting experiences using the hashtag #IslamophobiaAtPolls:
The tweets illustrate why Islamophobia is likely to persist even after this election cycle ― and work that remains to stop hate:
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.