This past weekend, 17-year-old Muslim teenager Nabra Hassanen was fatally assaulted and beaten after leaving her mosque in Sterling, Virginia. Her body was found in a pond the next morning to the disgust and horror of her fellow Muslim community. This event is especially startling considering the rapid pace at which hate crimes are being committed against Muslims across the United States, and the blatant attitude of disrespect exhibited by people towards Muslims and our community.
Islamophobia has never been so strongly manifested since the era of 9/11. With President Trump leading this country, running with a campaign based on the sole marginalization and antagonization of Muslim men and women, the perfect environment has been created to foster and even encourage rampant Islamophobia. Additionally, the President's silence on these hate crimes further shows his position on these events. And as a result, we are getting unsettling reminders of the era of legal lynching’s in the early twentieth century.
It is clear how attitudes of discrimination are powerfully entrenched within United States' culture and society. Whether we care to admit it or not, racism and discrimination are attitudes we have been brought up with growing up in this country. No less than fifty years ago, it was an attitude accepted and celebrated among the majority. The dangerous naiveté of ignoring the racism and discrimination of peoples within this country is the precise way these hate crimes occur and thrive. Ignorance is never bliss in the realization of this country’s culture of discrimination. Silence and passiveness in this situation will not only lead to further feelings of unsafety within marginalized communities, it will only lead to more hate crimes and tragedies.
Nabra Hassanen was not a simple victim of crime. Nabra Hassanen was a victim of the rampant attitudes of Islamophobia being fostered and encouraged under the Trump administration. Spreading awareness of these events and the state of discrimination within our country will not bring Nabra back. However it will do everything in the prevention of similar events occurring in the future. What we truly need is to suppress this environment promoting hate crimes and discrimination. Silence on the end of the executive branch communicates the exact opposite. We need direct and clear communication on Trump’s end, explicitly condemning acts like this. Without intervention by our country’s leader, we are only walking into a dangerous and more unsafe future filled with events like this, until it becomes commonplace. Deaths like Nabra Hassanen can never be allowed to become common place. We have to eliminate attitudes of Islamophobia at its roots, making it clear attitudes leading to the marginalization of minorities will never be tolerated in this country.