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Muslim Women Get Self Defense Classes

ANTIOCH – Dozens of Muslim women in Antioch city, Tennessee, are expected to attend a self-defense class to learn how to protect themselves against any Islamophobic attacks.

“They are lashing out on anything that represents Islam,” Aisha Lbhalla of the Muslim Women’s Council told News 2.

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Amid increasing sentiments targeting Muslims, many Muslim women have been targeting because of their Islamic attire and hijab.

Increasing attacks targeting Muslim women have been recently reported, especially after last year’s attacks on Paris and San Bernardino.

“Unfortunately, it has caused a wave of anti-Islamic rhetoric. We’ve had pig heads thrown at a mosque, we’ve had bacon put on doors,” Lbhalla said.

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“For some Muslim women they’ve actually encountered more violence. They’ve been shot at, they’ve had their scarves pulled off because we are a symbol of Islam.”

The class, organized by the Muslim Women’s Council, will be at the Islamic Center of Tennessee in Antioch from 1 until 4 on Sunday, February 7.

The class will be offered by two female instructors trained on self-defense and empowerment as they plan to cover everything from hand to hand combat to risk reduction and bullying.

Though targeting Muslim women, Lbhalla said the class is open to all women of all faiths, hoping it would serve as a good example of interfaith cooperation.

“There is a need to provide protection for all women and that trumps our faith, being divided by faith,” she explained.

Muslims make up 1% of America’s 322 million population, according to Pew Research center.

Anti-Muslim sentiments have reached an all-time high after the rise of the so-called Islamic State, formerly known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Moreover, the Republican presidential candidates, such as Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson, have added to increasing anti-Muslim sentiments.

Trump’s views on immigration have sparked controversy nationwide, especially his proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the US.