Charlie Hebdo tragedies in Paris earlier this year. According to Fahd Ahmed, the executive director of Desis Rising Up and Moving in Queens, “There is definitely a shift in a better direction with less collective blame being projected onto Muslim communities. Still, as long as we fail to examine the root causes, our policy and messaging prescriptions will only be band-aid attempts.”Perhaps America’s appetite for overt Islamophobia is decreasing, especially in contrast to the heightened level of biased rhetoric that occurred after the 9/11 attacks, in the midst of the controversy over the Park51 community center in Lower Manhattan in 2010, and even in the wake of the
Indeed, the real test will be whether Americans of all races and faiths will call upon lawmakers to cease the use of divisive, xenophobic, and racist rhetoric, and to raise our voices against policies and practices that criminalize and target Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities. That will determine whether a collective national consciousness of the impact of xenophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment actually translates into meaningful changes in the lives of a group of people who feel singled out on the basis of their faith, national origin, and immigration status, day after day in our nation.