How Allies Can Fight Islamophobia, According To Amani Al-Khatahtbeh — VIDEO
Again and again throughout his shocking presidential campaign and now in the first days of his presidency, Donald Trump targeted Muslim people abroad and in the United States. During the election, he proposed a ban on all Muslim immigration and a domestic registration for those living in the United States; and now, since taking office on Jan. 20, he is reportedly taking action to make good on these promises. If you're wondering how allies can fight Islamophobia, you're not alone — and you're in luck, because the founder of MuslimGirl, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, just released a video detailing three simple ways to support Muslim women during Trump's administration.
MuslimGirl began in 2009, when Al-Khatahtbeh was a high school senior fed up with the representation — or lack thereof — Muslim women received in mainstream media. Today, she serves as the site's editor-in-chief, publishing articles ranging from an investigation of what happened to the "Afghan Girl" to a list of issues more pressing than a woman's choice to wear a headscarf. "We at MuslimGirl are taking back the narrative. ... We write articles that relate to young modern women all over the globe and kickstart an open honest dialogue about Islam in today’s society," reads the MuslimGirl website.
In a video published last week, Al-Khatahtbeh discusses how to be an ally to Muslim women. "The number one question that I have been receiving since the incident that shall not be named has been, 'What can allies to do help?'" she explains.
Her first piece of advice? Stand up for Muslim women. "It's not fair for us to have to constantly reaffirm our humanity. It is exhausting, and that shouldn't be something that falls on our shoulders," says Al-Khatahtbeh. She points out that people tend to respond more positively when they're corrected by those within their own social circles or communities, so this is where allies can be invaluable. "Not only is it effective because... that's your homie, but also because that small change ripples outward," she explains.
The second way is letting Muslim women talk and making an effort to understand what they say. Historically, people of color have been excluded from progressive movements like feminism, and it's long past time they were given the space to speak. As Al-Khatahtbeh says in the video, "If you want to know what it's like being a Muslim woman that wears a headscarf today, then how about having a conversation with a Muslim woman and letting her be the one to tell you?"
Finally, Al-Khatahtbeh stresses the importance of supporting Muslim women: patronizing their businesses, sharing their articles, and making an effort to amplify Muslim voices.
You might want to start by reading MuslimGirl and checking out the full video above.