Muslims face discrimination for practicing their faith and being authentically themselves too often. Living in Trump’s America is difficult for any minority group, and terms like “terrorist” and “Muslim ban” have turned an identity into a political weapon. It’s easy to dismiss these hardships as something you can’t do much about. But whether you have loved ones that are Muslim or are just ready to stop the cycle of hate, here are some ways to be an ally and stand up for your Muslim friends.
1. Utilize your platform to uplift others.
This goes for all persecuted minorities. If you can’t resonate with the oppression or hardships that others are feeling, be sure to share posts that raise awareness about the particular minority group. Social media is a great way to stand in solidarity against those who wish to silence marginalized groups, and a quick share can make a huge difference. No matter what your following is, retweeting someone else’s experience or sharing it on your Instagram story can go a long way.
2. Stand up against hate.
When speech that diminishes a Muslim’s identity is used, it’s important to instantly shut it down. Don’t placate others by staying silent, and be sure to keep your other friends and family members in check. Language has power, and too often it’s used as a tool to cause harm. Terms that demean Muslims or any minority are harmful and should not be tolerated under any circumstances. Correct your white friends.
3. Stay educated.
It’s important to stay in the loop about things that are going on in and how they affect Muslims. There are plenty of resources to help younot only about what it means to be Muslim, but about world events that pertain to the Muslim faith. Some resources to get a better understanding of Islam include:
The Post-Up Newsletter A weekly newsletter that comes out every Friday afternoon highlighting a week-worth of Muslim news.
MuslimGirl: A blog run by Muslim women that is a phenomenal resource and contains many articles that can educate others on the faith.
Teen Vogue’s Essential Black Muslim Reading List: Your fave activists such as Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, etc. were Muslim, and the faith has strong ties with Black Americans. Teen Vogue has an article on many books you can look into, to better your knowledge on the faith!
Muslim: An Instagram account created by Gen-Z Muslim youth that tackles issues, news, and posts centered on the Muslim identity.
4. Don’t “other” your Muslim friends.
Sometimes, we make people feel like they aren’t important and tend to “other” them even if we don’t mean to. A prime example of this is during Muslim holidays. Yes, Muslims do have holidays! More often than not, Muslim holidays don’t fall around the prime “holiday season” calendar. It’s important to acknowledge special occassions that Muslim’s celebrate, to ensure that your Muslim loved ones aren’t feeling left out. A simple,”Ramadan Kareem” or “Eid Mubarak” text can make a huge difference and go a long way.
5. Tackle your misconceptions of the faith by engaging with your local Muslim community.
Muslims are more than happy to welcome you into their mosques, friend groups, and prayer spaces—all you have to do is show up! Being a part of the space will make you understand Muslims better and give you a better take on who they truly are, unlike the media misconceptions that many adhere to. Each Muslim expresses their faith uniquely, having their own relationship with God. Being aware of these special practices as an ally is super important. Get out of your comfort zone! Try fasting a day with a Muslim during Ramadan to see what it entails. Stop by a mosque during Friday prayer and even pick up volunteer work with your local Muslim community!
6. Check up on your Muslim friends.
This political climate can be tough to those affected, and especially Muslims living in a post-9/11 and post-Trump America. When news involves the Muslim identity or shines Muslim under a nasty light, be sure to check op on your friends because it affects us more than you think. [TW: Guns] When the New Zealand shootings at the two mosques in Christchurch occurred earlier in the year, It was a low point for every Muslim and during that time I wished that I had friends that checked up on me and my mental health. With the heavy news cycle occurring around the faith, it can take a toll on the energy of your loved ones.