It has been ten years since Adama's arrest. although there have been many positive changes in Adama's life since the film was completed (see here for an update), Islamophobia is still an issue that needs urgent attention. Donald Trump's presidency has been accompanied by a dramatic spike in anti-Muslim hate-crimes. In the past few months, countless Muslim-Americans have shared stories of being cursed at, spat on, slapped, punched, threatened with knives, guns, and even shot at. Perpetrators (or, as some would argue, terrorists) have vandalized mosques across the country. Even the KKK has recently announced they are recruiting to "fight the spread of Islam."
WHAT CAN I DO?
The suggestions below are adapted from a recent article by Brittany Packnett, a protester, activist and organizer for the Black Lives Matter movement.
1. Start small. The flood of recent Islamophobic attacks offers an opportunity to consider that maybe-just maybe-there is something wrong. Interrogate those feelings by researching more, paying attention to how Muslims are being treated, and represented within the media.
2. Listen, intently and without invalidation, to those most affected by injustice. Leave your hero complex at home: Muslim-Americans need no one to save them, but do invite you to stand with them with respect, humility and commitment.
3. Examine your power. There is some space, some corner of the world, in which you lead. With your children, classmates or loved ones; with your employees, volunteers, congregants or clients, you possess the ability to influence how others live. Will you challenge the Islamophobia and racism you hear or walk away? Will you challenge anti-Muslim bigotry when it appears at your kitchen table, or choose comfort?
4. Support urgent systemic changes. Public officials derive their power from we, the people. We, the protesters, have to not let them forget it.