America Lost, Not because Hillary did but because Bigotry Won

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Donald Trump achieved the seemingly impossible by becoming President of the United States of America. In the most unpredictable and divisive political campaign for decades, Donald Trump’s victory highlights just how much the global political landscape has changed.

In an election campaign defined by hate filled rhetoric and brazen Islamophobia, Muslim leaders from across the US responded to what they saw as a victory for bigotry, racism and xenophobia.

Shaykh Omar Suleiman who resides in the Republican stronghold state of Texas wrote,

“America lost. Not because Hillary did, but because bigotry won. This country just elected an openly racist, sexist, obnoxious xenophobe to lead it. Gone are the days in which we could lecture any other nation on extremism or immorality. This leaves the nation bare for the world to see it for what it is. Donald Trump doesn’t just represent the fringe of America, he represents a chunk of it. Have I lost hope? No. I’m not going anywhere. I, and millions of others who envisioned a better nation, will continue to fight to redeem it. We thought we ditched our ugly past only to realize that our present is just as horrid. Now that it’s undeniable, our response needs to be unparalleled. We’ve got work to do people. But God willing, we’ll get there. #electionnight

Shaykh Yasir Qadhi wrote,

“This was a vote of the (primarily white) neglected lower and middle class, many of whom might not like the specifics of the Trump persona but were willing to give him a try rather than the in-house candidate. Muslims! Remember these Quranic advice:

Everything happens for a reason

“Say: Nothing shall befall us except what Allah has willed for us. He alone is our Protector, so in Allah let the believers place their trust.”
[Tawbah: 51]

Victories and defeats are in cycles. You can’t have one without the other and typically after one you get the other.

“And these are the cycles that we distribute it between the people”
[Ale-Imran: 140]

An evil might bring about much good. The Incident of Hudaybiyya teaches us that Allah uses what appears to be a calamity in mysterious ways.

“And it is possible that you dislike a matter, but Allah places much good in it”
[Nisa: 19]

Never lose hope and always be optimistic.

“And do not become weak, nor grieve, for surely you shall be victorious if you believe”
[Ale-Imran: 139]

Regardless of who wins or loses, we have a job ahead of us, and that job is to do our utmost best to serve our Lord, in our personal and public lives, and to follow in the footsteps of our Prophet (salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam) in all circumstances, until we leave this world. May Allah help us in that task!”

The New York based political and civil rights activist Linda Sarsour who had been a supporter of Bernie Sanders and actively encouraged the Muslim community to vote this election took an optimistic stance and wrote,

“Listen. I am feeling determined. This is a wake up call. I know, it seems like the end of the world but it’s not. Don’t despair. I know we feel disappointed. But now it’s all just a bit more clearer. No matter what happens tonight, we will get up tomorrow and organize harder and more than we have ever organized before. I am more committed now than I ever was.

“Hope. There’s always us and hope. We are hope.

Abdullah Hammoud, young Arab American Muslim just won a state legislature seat in Dearborn. Ilhan Omar just became the first Somali American woman in the country to win a State legislature in Minnesota.

Hope. I still have it. Heart. I still have it. Mind, skills, courage – I still have it. We all have it. No more silent majority. Now its time to get bigger and louder than ever. We are not a people moved by fear. We are a community moved by love, compassion and justice. Keep your head up and show up when you are called to the streets, called to action. I am not committed to any political party or person, I am committed to us, to our families, to our communities. We are what matters.
In addition to Muslim leaders in the US, Imams and Scholars here in the UK also reacted to the news of Donal Trump winning. Imam Qari Asim, senior Imam at the Makkah Mosque in Leeds wrote,

“Trumpism has thrived on a blend of populism and nativism mixed with politics of hatred and fear of the ‘other’. The fact that his ridiculous bigoted remarks about women, migrants, Muslims, Jews and other communities didn’t dominate the televised debates in any significant way shows how far the Trump campaign managed to turn the once unspeakable into something so mundane it did not need to be spoken about. This is worrying for not only one fifth of the world’s Muslim population but for other faith groups and minorities” 

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