Anti-Muslim rhetoric during the course of the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign has amplified anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States, causing many Muslims to feel anxious or fearful for their safety and their children’s futures.
The Oklahoman interviewed several Muslims about their experiences living or growing up in the Sooner State. They spoke about their love for Oklahoma and said they’ve had many positive encounters.
However, they also shared stories of bullying, stares, bigoted remarks or misconceptions they’ve encountered.
According to a Georgetown University report published in May, there have been approximately 180 reported incidents of anti-Muslim violence since the first candidate announced his bid for the White House in March 2015. The presidential campaign season began against a backdrop of already rising Islamophobia in 2015, the report said.
All of them expressed a desire for people to learn more about Islam, which would help foster understanding and combat misconceptions and prejudices.
Stories in today’s edition of The Oklahoman represent some of the many faces of Muslims in Oklahoma, which includes teachers, doctors, bookworms, sports fanatics, engineers, students, parents and neighbors.