Almost ten months into the Trump presidency, and the only consistent contributions the 45th president has made have been unprofessional rants and problematic remarks. With Trump’s Twitter account being his preferred platform for delivering offensive and rambling opinions, the public is greeted with fresh proof that our president is not fit for office practically every morning.
And this morning, Trump took to Twitter to retweet inflammatory anti-Muslim videos from a far-right account notorious for Islamophobic content. The videos originated from Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First — an ultra-nationalist political group notorious for their anti-immigrant rhetoric and xenophobic publicity stunts.
The videos in question show unsubstantiated images of individuals identified as Muslims violently attacking non-Muslims and desecrating a statue of the Virgin Mary (and one of those videos has already been identified as fake). The anti-Muslim sentiment that these videos encourage align with Trump’s stance on banning immigration from certain Islamic countries. (The third draft of the Trump administration’s travel ban is currently in court).
While White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is defending Trump’s hateful retweets (claiming they open up conversations about border security and immigration), the videos are — without a doubt — dangerous racist propaganda.
Question on President Trump's retweets this morning: Does it matter if it's a fake video?
Sarah Sanders: "I'm not talking about the nature of the video. I think you're focusing on the wrong thing. The threat is real, and that's what the President is talking about." pic.twitter.com/Nh2YyuLD01
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 29, 2017
Since the FBI began tracking hate crimes in 1996, the bureau found that crimes based on a person’s ethnicity, religion, country of origin, or sexual identity had decreased yearly — until they reviewed data from 2016. The FBI reports that hate crimes jumped for the first time in recent history at the end of 2016 — aka after Trump’s election — and the numbers have climbed since.
These statistics show the immense danger of these anti-Muslim videos — especially when retweeted to the American president’s 43.6 million followers.
Unfortunately, his retweets will likely spark more violence against Muslims, Sikhs, and other people who don’t fit into the bigoted ideology of Trump and his followers.
Anticipating this danger, we need to take steps to protect each other. The only way to combat ignorance is by supporting education and truth. When people learn more, they become less afraid. There are many Muslim associations throughout the United States and internationally that work specifically to educate, involve, and encourage a dialogue to combat Islamophobia.
And you can help too!
Here are some organizations to support now to resist Trump and anti-Muslim rhetoric.
1. Council On American-Islamic Relations
— CAIR National (@CAIRNational) November 29, 2017
CAIR’s goal is to “enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.” As America’s largest Muslim civil liberties organization, it has regional offices across the US to provide support and education. Donate here and find other ways to help here.
— Poligon (@poligonnational) November 9, 2017
Founded as a means to amplify Muslim-American voices in Congress, Poligon is a Washington DC-based organization also dedicated to educating Americans on the policy making process and how to utilize it to their community’s benefit. Educating and empowering citizens enables them to take the government into their own hands. Donate here.
3. Muslim Advocates
Muslim Advocates' Madihha Ahussain to @ThinkProgress: “… given the rhetoric of our nation’s highest officials, has made it acceptable to target Muslims, immigrants, African-Americans, and so many others.” https://t.co/Wpzwp7ygjM
— Muslim Advocates (@MuslimAdvocates) November 17, 2017
This national legal advocacy group works to protect civil liberties for all Americans — no matter their religion. With legal professionals and communication specialists, Muslim Advocates works to provide protection to individuals and communities alike. Donate here.
4. Muslim Public Affairs Council
— MPAC (@mpac_national) November 20, 2017
MPAC is a social advocacy group providing a positive voice for Muslim-Americans in American society. Working through government involvement, Hollywood representation, and local neighborhoods, they seek to connect non-Muslims to Muslim communities. Donate here.
5. Muslims For Progressive Values
— MPV Nederland (@MPVNederland) December 9, 2016
Based on the Quranic values of social justice and equality for all, this grass-roots organization has spread internationally. MPV focuses on civil rights and the encouragement of cultural events in support of arts, spirituality, and social activism. Donate here.
6. Muslim Legal Fund Of America
#GivingTuesday is today, so let's #MakeJusticePossible
Since 2001, MLFA has funded the work that makes justice possible for Muslims facing legal challenges to their constitutional rights in America. Give Today: https://t.co/8SGvZMMFUUpic.twitter.com/AqkosLZ8Ox
— Muslim Legal Fund (@MLFA) November 28, 2017
Founded to provide financial funding for legal programs that defend Muslims from injustice, MLFA’s goal is an America where Muslims are treated fairly under the law — and in every other aspect of life. Donate here.
7. Islamic Networks Group
— ING (@ING_org) November 29, 2017
As advocates for intercultural understanding and mutual respect, ING uses panels, workshops, and seminars in schools, colleges, community centers, and places of worship all over the country to encourage understanding between Muslim and non-Muslim communities. Donate here.
8. ICNA Relief USA
— ICNA Relief USA (@ICNARelief) October 31, 2017
Using the Islamic philosophy of Da’wah — meaning “to invite” or “share with others” — ICNA Relief USA focuses on alleviating human suffering and providing aid to grief stricken communities all over the world, regardless of faith. Donate here and learn how to volunteer here.
9. United Muslim Foundation
Aimed at increasing fellowship and understanding through community outreach and service projects, United Muslim Foundation is a non-profit that sustains its mission through volunteers and donations from around the world. Donate here and learn how to volunteer here.
When we face the kind of hatred and ignorance that we’re seeing from the current president, it’s easy to lose hope. But the only way we’ll see a difference is by working towards it. Trump’s abominable tweets may get a lot of attention, but it’s our activism that will change the world.