After Donald Trump was elected US president following a campaign riddled with anti-Muslim rhetoric, BuzzFeed UK spoke to British Muslims about their fears for the future.
Harun Khan, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, an umbrella organisation with 500 affiliates across the country:
"The people of the United States have clearly spoken and I congratulate Mr Trump.
"There is however, a justifiable concern about his election. It is hugely worrying that a man who has openly called for discrimination against Muslims and other minorities has become the leader of a superpower nation. We hope the bombast and rhetoric we have seen from Mr Trump in the last few months gives way to a more reconciliatory approach. The president-elect must demonstrate that his election is not a green light for bigotry for the rest of the world."
Fiyaz Mughal, founder of Tell MAMA, the anti-Muslim hate monitoring group:
“Today in America, the politics of hate have trumped love. For the last five years we have battled against anti-Muslim hatred in a climate where extremism, terrorism, and the press have fuelled anti-Muslim sentiment. We have done this with sheer determination and energy.
"That task has become much, much harder and the incline has become steeper. For make no mistake: What happens in America will seep into our country and will start to shape the narrative in the UK. The future is very uncertain but we must pin our futures on our values and our desire to value each and every person. Around that, we will either succeed or fail.”
Massoud Shadjareh, chairman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, an advocacy group:
"It is frightening to see the legitimisation of xenophobia as a means of addressing the problems people in the USA are facing. Trump's victory was not based on good policies but on the creation of 'otherness' and blaming minorities – like Muslims – for the country's shortcomings.
"Unfortunately his victory showcases what is becoming a global phenomenon. After the EU referendum people thought it was just relegated to Britain, but now the so-called most powerful nation in the world has also become victim to it and I fear Muslims in France and Germany will soon suffer its impact as well."
Zara Mohammed, president of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS), which represents 115,000 Muslim students in the UK:
"The election result is truly historic and defining. For many British Muslims the representation of Islam surrounding the campaign was not a true reflection of our faith and role in society. This time calls for political decision-makers to get to know Muslims and for our community to open our doors to neighbours and really show the peace and unifying nature of our religion.
"We all need to work to ensure a message of hope is out there, but it is also vital to come up with practical solutions to the real problems. The way in which we tackle all hatred towards all parts of our community needs to go beyond just campaigns and slogans. We need to adopt a politics that addresses our society's economical and social fractures – a politics that doesn't know colour or race but nevertheless underpins our challenges."
Adam Matan from Anti-Tribalism Movement, a nonprofit organisation:
"This morning’s news shocked us all and we are saddened to witness one of the greatest nations like the USA has elected Mr Donald Trump, whose campaign said many things that were offensive, incorrect, divisive, and uncalled for – in particular to ethnic minorities in the US. We hope that rhetoric and divisive approach was election campaign tactics to appeal to a particular group.
"Now Trump has been elected as the president of the United States of America... we hope [the] rhetoric that divided the residents of the USA [and] that particularly singled out Muslims [does] not continue and Trump starts to heal the wounds caused by the campaign.
"Mr Trump's campaign has also flip-flopped on key issues on foreign policy and we are concerned that [a] great power in the world like USA may become a destructive force by further fuelling the Syrian conflict and cutting USA overseas contributions.
"President Trump knows this morning the game of scaremongering is over – and he needs to be a thoughtful president, healer, and commence the enormous task waiting for him."
Esmat Jeraj, activist:
"Today, America has elected a demagogue, whose disdain of minorities, women, and civil liberties has been evident throughout his campaign. However, Trump ran his campaign off the back of the anxieties and dispossession felt by many Americans; mainly white voters who felt alienated from the political establishment. He used this resentment to lead him to victory. This must be a lesson to us all.
"We also need to remember that the ramifications of this vote will not just be for the American Muslim community, but minority communities across America. Like we saw here following the EU referendum, it is logical to assume that the aftermath of this may very well be a normalisation of bigotry – with xenophobic, sexist, racist, and Islamophobic hate crime incidents likely to rise.
"Worryingly, the impact of a Trump election will not be limited only to the US. Other nationalists who traffic ... hate around the world will be emboldened by his victory, and continue to peddle their own divisive rhetoric and policies. This will have a knock-on effect here in the UK too."
Fadi Itani, a specialist in voluntary sector management:
"I am more concerned about our world than just our community as it seems the divisive language and ideology [are] making progress.
"Was he (Trump) using his sales skills to tell people what they would like to hear? Possibly. Will he be able to implement what he was talking about? I am very doubtful, as the establishment will not give him the space and we have seen this with President Obama when he was not able to move forward with his plan, which was more positive and progressive but still blocked.
"Of course I am like the millions around the world very concerned and more concerned as a Muslim, an Arab, and a humanitarian where the three have been at the receiving end of discrimination and unjust targeting."
"Our world is hungry for peace, dialogue, and hope, and nothing else."
Maria Munir, student and human rights activist:
"We must not abandon our US counterparts. The last thing we should do is quit our dreams and ambitions; isn’t that exactly what Trump would want? I have always dreamed of studying law in the US, and have applied for human rights fellowships there. Yet Trump’s misogynistic, racist, and bigoted campaign would rather I never entered the country at all.
"If we refuse to go to the US now, Trump and the mobbing masses win. So will Marine Le Pen, who will see that a bigot in charge keeps the Muslims out. So will groups like ISIS, who will use this ammunition to reinforce their dying message that this world is at war with Muslim people. The losers will be the people in the US who still need us.
"This president-elect is the most powerful man in the free world by precedent; we gave him that power. Muslims, women, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, and all his other worst fears are not going to give him any more."
Statement from New Horizons in British Islam, a think tank:
"The US election results only makes our work at New Horizons ever more important. We have witnessed how a politics driven by fear creates the need for common-sense, middle-ground positions that deal with polarisation, hate, and division. We will continue to promote optimism and dialogue moving forward."
Faizan, chair of Imaan, a UK LGBTQ Muslim Charity:
"As a charity that supports LGBTQ Muslims, Imaan is deeply concerned by the election of a US president with an overtly anti-Muslim stance and whose vice president is staunchly anti-LGBTQ.
"It has been alarming to see women, African-Americans, Muslims, Latinx, and other groups vilified and threatened during Mr Trump's election campaign.
"As a community, LGBTQ Muslims have seen a rise in Islamaphobic, homophobic, and transphobic attacks over recent years and fear that they will now increase across Europe with the validation of the most powerful office on Earth.
"At this time we would look to our wider communities for support.
"We stand in solidarity with LGBTQ Muslims in the United States with whom we have long and mutually supportive history.
"Above all, we continue to place our trust in the Almighty to protect us where our governments will not."
Aisha Gani is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Aisha Gani at email@example.com.
Fiona Rutherford is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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