Mental health researchers have warned that an increasing number of US Muslims are suffering trauma because of Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric.
Responding to an Adelphia University survey, nearly 90 percent of Muslims say Islamophobia during the presidential campaign has brought about a negative impact on them and their families.
Trump’s call for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States was the beginning of a series of unprecedented level of anti-Muslim rhetoric that changed the presidential campaigns.
Donald Trump has strongly criticized the Khan family who spoke at the Democratic National Convention about their son who died fighting in Iraq.
Dr. Wahiba Abu-Ras, an associate professor of social work at Adelphi University has been studying the mental health of American Muslims. Although the sample size of her recent survey is small, it shows that “there’s a lot of fear” among Muslims and the results merit concern.
Nearly 90 percent of participants said that anti-Muslim sentiments during the 2016 presidential campaigns have had a negative impact on them and their families. 75 percent described their personal experiences as “extremely stressful”.
“Assaults, mosque attacks and anti-Muslim verbal tirades have replaced the less malicious discriminations of the past,” noted Dr. Farha Abbasi, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Michigan State University and the managing editor of the Journal of Muslim Mental Health.
Bullying in schools has also increased during the election season. According to a Southern Poverty Law Center report, over one-third of teachers said they observed an increase in anti-Muslim sentiments since the beginning of 2016 presidential election.
Other reports show that some teachers are also bullying their Muslim students in schools.
“They are being bullied not just by peers, but by people supposed to protect them. That tends to be the most heartbreaking,” said Afaf Nasher of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim American civil rights group.