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After Trump Win: Heartbroken US Muslims Press for Unity

NEW YORK – Against all odds and expectations, Donald Trump won the 2016 US Presidential election late on Tuesday, November 8, concluding one of the most unpredictable and harrowing campaigns in US history.

“I am heartbroken because a divisive message of hate and fear was more powerful than one of acceptance, respect, civility and love. I’m sad for our children and our country’s future,” Aisha Sultan, a columnist for the St. Louis Post, wrote.

“But, I am not surprised. I saw how people changed once Trump blessed their worst impulses. I read it in my emails, heard it in my voicemails and saw it in people’s behavior.”

Trump’s win came as a complete shock and a political surprise to the majority of American Muslims. After months of anti-Muslim rhetoric from the Trump campaign, Muslims are fearful of what is to come from this newly elected leader.

During his acceptance speech, Trump, the oldest person to ever be elected to a first presidential term, urged the nation “to come together as one united people.” He promised to fix the inner cities and rebuild the infrastructure.

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But his uncharacteristically gracious speech was no consolation, as Muslims took to social media to express their fear of what the future holds. Many Muslims cannot believe that they live in a nation where a man like Trump would be elected to the highest office in the land.

Editor of a popular Muslim magazine expressed her incredulity in the following post:

“America chose a president who calls Mexicans rapists, wants to ban Muslims from the country, insults and sexually harasses women and jokes about it afterwards. The American people chose a president without any political experience, a reality TV star who made racism and sexism his personal brand. But the people chose him and that’s the problem. The fact that people chose Trump says more about today’s trends in society than his statements.”

Other Muslims offered explanations for this unexpected win.

Sarah Eltantawi, a professor of Islamic studies at Evergreen State College, wrote, “Donald Trump did about as well as Mitt Romney did when he lost to Obama. The issue is that Hillary Clinton did far worse than Obama.”

“This should not be surprising. Yes, a lot of this is about race. But it is also deeply about class. If you were living in a city that was decimated by trade deals that sent your jobs overseas, if you saw your cities become impoverished and drug-addled, if you saw no rise in your living wages for decades, you would vote for the anti-establishment candidate who promises real change too. Yes, you would.”

UniteTrump Wins America Needs God Blessings_

Amid widespread feelings of distress, others offered a dose of optimism, like Ahmed Younis of Chapman University.

“What happened tonight is our new beginning at the base of this nation’s reality. To love each other. To respect each other. To organize. To bring back the spirit of hunger to our world and our realities,” he wrote.

“We are beautiful and we are strong! Not because we are better than those who voted for Mr. Trump. Not because we are somehow chosen for privilege or to be the elites. But because we believe in each other and the potential for beauty that we can inject in times of great darkness and fear. Do not be afraid! Do not become cynical. Do not hate. Never allow the oppression we face and will face sway us from the paths of justice and light. This is a test for each of us! Only together can we survive!”

Many American Muslims blame the Democratic National Committee for Trump’s victory.

Although the overwhelming majority of Muslims voted for Hillary, they did so begrudgingly claiming that she is merely the lessor of two evils.

Well-respected Cardiologist Hina Chaudhry said she voted for Clinton, even though she was a Sanders’ supporter in the primary.

She did not agree with Clinton’s foreign policy decisions, but she just detested the idea of a Trump Presidency enough register a vote for his opponent.

Everyone seems to agree that the Trump win was a rebellion against the establishment and the political elite.

Now that the results have been finalized, American Muslims are more worried about what they are going to tell their children today than what they will have to face tomorrow.

Advice on how to approach this latest development came from a number of news outlets, but the consensus was overwhelmingly in favor of honoring the results.We respect the process even if we do not prefer the outcome.

America is built on a system of checks and balances where the restraints imposed by the law can prevent any one person from doing too much damage, even if that person happens to be the president of the United States.  The most we can offer our children in the anxiety provoking days ahead is to cling to their faith.

Let us remember the words of Thomas Jefferson that “Nothing is unchanging but the inherent and inalienable rights of man.”

It is with a heavy and somber heart that we must never forget that those rights are all that we have left.