Society

Trump Election Incites Islamophobia On College Campuses

| by Sam Gravity

Within 10 hours of President-elect Donald Trump's election, college campuses became subject to Islamophobic hate crimes and graffiti.

The results of the 2016 presidential election have spurred some Trump supporters to act out in harmful ways, as evidenced by numerous police reports of women in hijabs who have been assaulted on college campuses.

In one instance, a Muslim student at the University of Louisiana told police that two white men, one bearing a pro-Trump hat, pulled up to her in a car and assaulted her on the morning of Nov. 8, according to The New York Times. The men reportedly hit her with a metal object and stole her head covering and wallet before taking off.

In a separate event that same day, at San Diego State University, another Muslim student was confronted by two men making comments about Trump and Muslims. The victim alerted the police after being robbed of her purse and car keys, but found that her car had been stolen when officers returned to the scene.

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On the night of Nov. 8, an email sent out to students at San Jose University revealed campus police were also investigating an attack on another Muslim student who was attacked by a man who pulled at her hijab from behind.

“He caused me to choke, and my back arched,” 19-year-old Esra Altun explained to NBC. “I tried to pull away from him. I fell on my knees. He didn’t say anything. He ran away as I hit the floor.”

Universities have also reported pro-Trump graffiti littering campuses following election results, espousing Muslim communities in addition to other harmful ideologies attached to the Trump campaign.

New York University’s Muslim Students Association announced on Facebook that their prayer room was vandalized with the word “Trump” on the morning of Nov. 8., adding that their “campus is not immune to the bigotry that grips America.”

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The Louisiana campus was also targeted by Trump graffiti on the day of the Muslim student’s attack, emblazoned with lines such as “F*** your safe space,” Vice reports.

Corey Saylor, who tracks instances of Islamophobia at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, noted overt Islamophobia is a direct result of a president-elect who called for a ban on all Muslims entering the country, according to NBC.

“Unfortunately the election of Trump will embolden people who don’t like minorities — and not just Muslims but minorities across the board,”  Saylor said.

In an email to students, University of Louisiana president E. Joseph Savoie attempted to combat hostile events on campus, calling for unity after a "long, contentious presidential campaign."

"We grow as human beings by listening to others who have different backgrounds and experiences," Savoie said. "With the election behind us, we must now concentrate on trying to find common ground that will enable us to move forward— together — as a nation."

Sources: The New York Times, Vice, NYU Muslim Students Association​/FacebookNBC / Photo credit: Orlygur Hnefill/Flickr via Vice

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