Last week I wrote about Trump’s bigoted statement towards Ghazala Khan the mother of a Muslim American soldier who died in Iraq who stood beside her husband, Khizr Khan, at the DNC convention while he delivered a speech that lambasted Donald Trump’s Islamophobic opinions and policies. Donald Trump was later quoted in an interview suggesting that Ghazala Khan didn’t speak because ‘she wasn’t allowed to do so’ rehashing the tired steretype of the oppressed muslim woman.
Female activists within the American Muslim community — supported by organizations like the Muslim Public Affairs Council — soon rallied behind Khan, launching a social media campaign under the hashtag #CanYouHearUsNow. The hashtag called on Muslim American Women to dispel misconceptions about Islam especially in relation to women. This was one of the most empowering hashtags and I strongly encourage you to read the tweets from Muslim women from varying professions and walks of life. More recently I came across this piece below by Kubra Gumusay in relation to the hashtag which I thought was excellent!
Another week and another death of a black person to emotionally deal with. Last week, Korryn Gaines was fatally shot by police following a standoff in Baltimore County, Maryland. At this point, all I can do is to pray and dream for a period where black people will no longer have to casually ontend with the deaths of our people. The tweets below from Shaun King perfectly sums up my thoughts on the incident and the reaction from people.
BlackLivesMatter UK Shutdown
On Friday the 5th of August, the UK Black Lives Matter Movement called for a National Shut Down across the country to protest against the issues of structural racism, black deaths in custody and structural poverty. On Friday morning, activists from the movement obstructed traffic en route to Heathrow Airport and in Nottingham some protesters laid down on tracks in the city centre causing delays to the tram network. Unsurprisingly, some people were against the protests and here I am addressing some of the ridiculous reasons I had the opportunity to read. Firstly, I am so tired of hearing the false argument that black people are claiming victimhood status by protesting against racial issues. Fun fact: We don’t live in post -racial Britain and the fact that some people have the privilege of not experiencing that reality
1. Doesn’t give them the validation to question other people’s experience
2. Doesn’t allow them to silence the resistance of the people who are bearing the brunt of that oppression.
A lot of people were against the protest citing that Britain isn’t a ‘racist country’ which I find to be ridiculous considering the disproportionate rate of stop and searches, incarceration, and amount of black deaths in custody that has been accumulating over the years. It’s taken 23 years of resilience and determination for the family of Stephen Lawrence to get justice over his racist murder. Just because racism and the death of black people is not as rampant in Britain as it is in the US doesn’t negate the fact that it’s still an issue that needs to be dealt with. We’re talking about human life here and every single one matters!
The Olympics started at Rio and it has already been full of twists and surprises! World No.1 Novak Djokovic was knocked out of the tennis tournament by Del Potro and the Williams sisters are out of the doubles. It was great to see the of Michael Phelps (The most decorated Olympian of all time). I watched the beginning of the opening ceremony but it started way too late for me to stay awake to the end. Is it just me but I don’t feel the excitement for this year’s Olympics as I did in previous years but that could be down to the fact that it was hosted in London four years ago. Can we also talk about how Nigerian athletes wore tracksuits to the opening ceremony because their outfit didn’t make it to Rio in time? I’m just sending lots of prayer for Nigeria because things are not looking well. Firstly, there were issues with paying for the transport of athletes and then the football team arrived late as well, only to have them parade around in track suits. If Nigeria was like any other country then I would have confidence that the Sports Minister would be held accountable for this but oh well. Lastly, check out my previous post on some of the inspiring Muslim female athletes at Rio.
How 2 Muslim Women Got an Islamophobe Fired in 20 Minutes
Last week Amani Al- Khatahtbeh (Founder of MuslimGirl) and a friend Eman Bare were on their way to lunch, and waiting at a stoplight when an employee of a bar said to them, over his shoulder: “ISIS.” To which Amani turned around and replied, “Excuse me?” to the man who grinned and responded, “Are you a part of ISIS? I’m just asking!”
Writing on her Facebook wall, Amani stated,
He had some bad luck in the Muslim women he chose to harass today, right? We immediately turned around and confronted him. I asked, “Well, are you a part of the KKK? Are you a Nazi? Actually, are you a mass shooter? Are you going to light us up right now?” I guess these two so-called oppressed girls in headscarves scared him off, because he quickly gathered his things to run back into his store.
20 minutes after her Facebook post which was widely shared the owner of the business reached out to inform Amani and Eman that the man in question had been fired. You can read the full post written by Eman on MuslimGirl here. It is truly distressing to see the increase in Islamophobic incidents over the past couple of years. It is even more sickening that these attacks disproportionately affect Muslim women and we’re becoming accustomed to such experiences and allowing it to go unchallenged. Instances like these are a step in the right direction because we cannot allow bigotry and hate to be normalised.