March 17, 2018
The rhetoric adopted by US President Donald Trump against minorities, especially Muslims, has encouraged violence against followers of that religion, says a human rights activist and researcher in Washington.
“Speaking with violence, acting with violence against minorities is okay” in America, because Trump has made it acceptable,” said Ilhan Cagri, a research fellow with the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).
Two Muslim-American women have sued the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for forcing them to remove their religious headscarves (hijab) in public and pose for post-arrest photographs.
The women, Arwa Aziz and Jamilla Clark, filed the lawsuit on Friday. The two women were arrested separately in unrelated incidents last year.
Turning Point for Women and Families, a non-profit organization based in New York that supports Muslim women and girls who have been victims of domestic violence, joined the lawsuit.
The suit seeks unspecified financial damages and for the NYPD to discontinue its practice.
A 2015 NYPD policy requires that booking photos have an unobstructed view of the subject’s head, face and ears, requiring the removal of any headwear.
“Those police officers did what they did because they felt that there would be no backlash, there would be no consequence,” Cagri told Press TV on Saturday.
“The larger picture is that with Trump in power and with the Republican Party supporting him, the fact that he says so many things, and he sets the tone in this country that being prejudice, acting in a bigoted way, acting with violence or having the rhetoric of violence, speaking with violence and acting with violence towards minorities is okay, will be accepted if not encouraged,” she added.
The number of Islamophobic incidents in the United States has spiked following the election of President Donald Trump, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a leading Muslim advocacy group.
Critics say that Trump’s rhetoric and policies against Muslims before and after his election has emboldened far-right groups and promoted anti-Muslim hate crimes across the country.
Some scholars say Trump’s travel ban on people from several Muslim-majority countries was aimed at spreading Islamophobia and demonizing Muslims.