PLEASANTON (KRON) — American Muslims in the Bay Area are expressing their concerns over a Donald Trump presidency.
This comes as many Americans, who oppose Trump’s divisive campaign rhetoric, continue to protest the election results.
Only on KRON4, Ella Sogomonian visited a town hall meeting in Pleasanton, aimed at planning for a life with Trump as commander in chief. The meeting is called Finding our Place in the New Presidency.
American Muslims have witnessed a man whose anti-Islam rhetoric led him to rise to power, some say, and that’s got some Bay Area families worried it may embolden racists to act on violent thoughts once Trump is in office.
One group of American Muslims is checking negativity at the door at one East Bay mosque in Pleasanton. They’ve come there Monday night for a second meeting to discuss life in a Donald Trump presidency.
“We’re actually still hearing from people who are processing the election results,” said Zahra Biloo, who is with the Coalition on American-Islamic Relations. “It hasn’t been a full week yet and they’re trying to figure out how they feel about it and what it means for their families.”
For many at the meeting, there is a sense of anxiety of what may come with Trump as their commander in chief.
“I have heard about a lot of anxiety, fear, concern, disappointment, anger, a sense of helplessness too like, ‘What can I do now that this man has been elected president,'” Biloo said.
That disappointment and stress stems from anti-Muslim statements made by Trump along the campaign trail.
“Hate crimes against Muslims spiked last year to their highest level since 9/11,” said Munir Safi, who is with the Muslim Community Center of the East Bay. “They have been fueled by one terrorist attacks, but also all this anti-Islam rhetoric that’s come out of this campaign.”
One week since the election, two hate incidents were reported at UC Berkeley and San Jose State University.
“The concern is that people who might have been bigoted prior but would not have taken action are now feeling comfortable taking action,” Biloo said.
A panel of spiritual and community leaders reassured the group they are not alone, but there are many more people from all walks of life that stand united with American Muslims to make a better place for all.
The meeting ended on an optimistic note, redirecting fear back to hope.
They also said that love and acceptance will prevail.