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The American Muslim Ban Has Been Revoked, But Islamophobia Persists

After his first day in office, Joe Biden fulfilled his pledge to end the so-called “Muslim Ban,” which was imposed by former President Donald Trump to prevent refugees from Muslim and African countries from entering the United States. Predictably, these communities suffered a slew of negative consequences, such as the denial of life-saving surgery for an infant, on top of experiencing increased bullying, bigotry, and violence

Any individual should, without a doubt, be accepted regardless of religious belief, and each country should strive to protect the vulnerable. After the ban on Muslims was lifted, many Arab and African people felt relieved that they were no longer separated from their families and homes in the United States. Unfortunately, despite this change in policy with the new administration, Muslim people both in the States and abroad continue to be viewed as half-citizens and to be subject to harmful “terrorist” stereotypes, each incident fuelling and normalizing Islamophobia. 

study by the UN Human Rights Council recently stated that outright violence and discrimination toward Muslims has reached “epidemic proportions.” Every day, new stories emerge about Muslim communities being forbidden to follow their religious values, experiencing socioeconomic inequality and stigma, and being denied citizenship. To add, in countries where Muslims are a minority, they are more likely to face prejudice based on stereotypical "Muslim" features such as skin colour and dress, which also involves religious symbols like the hijab.

These prejudices are often reinforced by members of the media and others in positions of authority; it emerged in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and other acts of terrorism supposedly perpetrated in the name of Islam, according to experts

In response, the United Nations adopted a Hate Speech Strategy and a Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites in the hopes of reducing anti-hate towards Muslims.

To successfully address this threat, we must reconsider how we speak about freedom, dignity, and respect for all people. We must also promote resilience in the face of racist, patriarchal, and ignorant perspectives, as well as compassion for the religious and cultural values of others. 

There are numerous ways to fight islamophobia, including contacting local Muslim associations near you for support, making friends with Muslims in your community, refusing to be passive on bigotry, and advising politicians to respect and defend Muslims.

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