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Teen Invites Strangers To Dine With Her Muslim Family To Fight Islamophobia

By in Huffington Post on May 17, 2017

By Antonia Blumberg

California teen Yusra Rafeeqi isn’t old enough to vote. She couldn’t do anything to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, but the high school sophomore is doing her part now to confront the Islamophobia that President Donald Trump helped propagate throughout his campaign.

The election and its aftermath gave rise to some of the worst Islamophobia the country has seen since the years immediately following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Trump’s comments about Muslims and Islam throughout his campaign and after the election have helped fuel this bias and embolden Islamophobes around the country.

Even in the liberal college town of Palo Alto, California, Rafeeqi and her family felt the effects of anti-Muslim prejudice.

“My mom, who wears a headscarf and abaya (a full length covering) has been rudely stared at and honked at, and people have often moved away from her on the street in fear,” Rafeeqi said in an email to HuffPost. “In one instance, a car saw her, pulled over while my family and I were walking on the street, and screamed ‘Heil Hitler,’ which made all of us very scared.”

Islamophobia is widespread across the United States, but it’s not because people hate Muslims. To me, the issue is that people do not understand Muslims.”

The 15-year-old decided to make a Facebook page called “Dine With a Muslim Family” to do what she could to confront bias in her own community.

“Seeing a president who depicted Muslims, Mexicans, and many more minorities negatively made me feel as though I needed to make sure that America, or at least my Palo Alto and Bay Area community, knew that Muslims are not how they are portrayed by Trump […]    

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