people are pledging to register as muslim to protest trump’s islamophobic database
'If this new administration requires Muslims to register but not the KKK, #IWillRegister.'
It's a terrifying time to be Muslim in America. Following the election of a man who rose to power on the back of an Islamophobic campaign, activist Blair Irmani wrote about her decision to no longer wear hijab. "I mourned the death of American freedom as bigotry and the very real threat of physical violence scared me from exercising the right to express my faith," she wrote after being interviewed near Trump Tower the morning after the election.
One week later, the anti-Muslim campaign promises Trump has been making over the past year are already being fulfilled. In Georgia, officials are considering an update to the state's anti-masking law — ironically, originally passed to prevent Klansmen from wandering the streets in racist garb — that would make wearing hijab illegal. Trump also wants to create a "Muslim registry" that mirrors the Bush administration's database of immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. No such registry, as one person pointed out, has been proposed for the KKK.
Since this horrific idea unfortunately has legal precedent, there's nothing to stop Trump creating his own database. But there is a way to show that it is ridiculous. A website called Register US has now been created so that anyone can pledge to register as Muslim in a show of solidarity. So far over 6,000 people have taken the pledge, and hundreds more have used the hashtag #IWillPledge on Twitter.
"We must stand together to protect our neighbors and our most fundamental rights," the site reads. "We pledge to stand together with Muslims across the country, and around the world. Because when we stand as one, no American can be singled out by their race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation."
The site makes clear that pledging solidarity isn't the only thing privileged allies should do. People are also encouraged to donate to important organizations that work to protect marginalized groups and fundamental rights, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and Everytown for Gun Safety. Clearly protecting the rights of already vulnerable people terrified by the mainstreaming of white nationalism takes a lot more work than wearing a safety pin or typing your name and email — so sign up here, then combine your pledge with a donation to the Council of American-Islamic Relations in honor of Frank Gaffney.
Text Hannah Ongley