12/22/2016 01:44 EST | Updated 12/22/2016 01:55 EST

Hate Trumped Love In 2016, But We Can't Lose Hope

Under wide threat of injustice, supporting one another, regardless of faith is essential. How? By supporting Standing Rock while demanding peace for Syria. By attending multi-faith gatherings at our local synagogue. By marching behind Black activists because Black Lives Matter. By emailing our MP.

Lucas Jackson / Reuters
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a USA Thank You Tour event in Mobile, Alabama, U.S., December 17, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Hate trumped love in America this election amid Trump's promises to ban Muslim immigration, build a wall at the Mexican border and amid mockery of the disabled, unleashed misogyny and support from white supremacists.

Muslim tyrants move over -- open demagoguery has arrived at the White House.

Are we surprised?

No. The stage was set. Especially in America.

It is there, after all, where police used lethal force against innocent black citizens, sometimes with little or no accountability.

It is there where companies supporting the Dakota access pipeline threatened the environment, health of communities and native land rights and employed violence to quash peaceful opposition, against state and federal law.

It is there that white supremacists re-branded themselves as the "alt right," a term coined by Richard B. Spencer, who welcomed Trump's win with a "Hail Trump!" Is Spencer's bigotry new? It is a reminder of the rhetoric of mainstream islamophobes, particularly his statement that: "Illegal immigration is not nearly as damaging... Legal immigration -- they're here to stay. Their children are here and so on... we're going to need to preference people who are going to fit in, who are more like us. That is European immigration."

And homophobia survives. Professor Mike Adams, of UNC Wilmington, publicly outed a queer Muslim student, targeting her for promoting "queer Muslim jihad," publicizing her full name.

According to the student, she received death threats and now must transfer schools. Adams' tweets are racist and sexist, too. For example, he tweeted: "If black lives mattered, abortion would be illegal." To petition his removal -- sign here.

On American election night, the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration site crashed -- but is Canada immune to injustice?


What must we do? Perhaps humanity must simply unite.

In Ottawa, last summer, an unarmed and mentally challenged Muslim black man, Abdirahman Abdi, died in police custody after failing to surrender. While SIU investigates, all officers involved remain on duty.

In Calgary, a mom in a minivan, Karalie Red Old Man, was violently attacked in front of her daughter by two white men, accusing her of intercepting them in traffic. They remain at large.

In Hamilton, 15-year-old Noah Rabbani was attacked by two white men with a baseball bat, leaving him extensively injured with a cracked skull. One individual was arrested and charged. (The incident was not labeled a hate crime. Help Noah here.)

Officially classified hate crimes against Muslims are on the rise.

In Ottawa, Rabbi Anna Maranta awoke to find a swastika on her door. Soon after, more turned up -- at two synagogues, a black church and Ottawa's main mosque. (The vandal was caught.)

As for our government -- respected around the globe since election of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau -- we must ask why so many children are held at immigration detention centres every year and why is there rarely clean drinking water on reserves.

Elsewhere -- the U.K.'s Brexit passed amid fears of immigration and France's police patrolled its beaches to enforce its dress code, demanding a Muslim mom remove her burkini or leave.

In the Muslim world, man-made humanitarian disasters and disregard for human rights and lives continued. Syrians were massacred by forces fighting for power, both by government and rebel groups, both sides assisted by world powers.

American drones killed civilians in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia.

Saudi Arabia purchased arms from western powers and attacked Yemen, killing thousands.

In Pakistan, where laws persecute Ahmadi Muslims, an Ahmadi mosque was attacked. And Supreme Court Justice Iqbal Hameed ur Rehman recused himself from the appeal of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy in 2010. Rehman's excuse? He'd heard a matter respecting Mumtaz Qadri, sentenced to death for killing Salmaan Taseer. Both Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti were politicians who demanded Asia Bibi's freedom and were killed for it.

The result? Asia Bibi has been imprisoned in Pakistan for seven years. Check out the video below and sign the petition.

In Burma, under Aung San Suu Kyi, the military reportedly burned Rohingya Muslim villages, attacked families and raped women. In Mauritania, Mohammed Ould Mkhaitir was just sentenced to death for apostasy.

And foreign/trade policies of the west did not assist activists imprisoned in the Muslim world, including but not limited to: the vice president of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders of Iran, Narges Mohammadi, serving 16 years; co-founder of the Bahrain Centre of Human Rights, Nabeel Rajab; and Mohammad Hassan Jawad, serving 15 years; founder of the Monitor for Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, Waleed Abu al-Khair, serving 15 years; award-winning photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid jailed in Egypt since 2013, awaiting trial -- possibly a death sentence. Canada could not free Saudi blogger Raif Badawi. His wife and three children reside in Montreal.

While we western Muslims demand safety, the attack on innocent people inside and outside the Muslim world -- regardless of faith -- is overwhelming.

What must we do?

Perhaps humanity must simply unite.

Under wide threat of injustice, supporting one another, regardless of faith is essential. Those with other beliefs are defending us -- we must defend them as well.

How? By supporting Standing Rock while demanding peace for Syria. By attending multi-faith gatherings at our local synagogue. By marching behind Black activists because Black Lives Matter. By emailing our MP.

By not forgetting about human rights inside the Muslim community and speaking with love to avoid feeding hatred. By standing up against homophobia, misogyny, bigotry and racism inside Muslim communities, both at home and abroad. Ahmadi Muslims and Christian Pakistanis like Asia Bibi need us abroad. LGBTQ Muslims and non-Muslims deserve support at home and abroad.

Give what you are able -- time and/or money. Consider local donations of food and clothing.

And sign petitions. I wondered if petitions made a difference. Then I met a man, released from Evin Prison, who said they meant the world to him.

Trump, the alt-right, religious extremists, corporate interests and government powers may wreak havoc.

Never lose hope.

Because, in the words of Nelson Mandela, "it always seems impossible until it's done."

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