Apart from the possible media attacks on Muslims, there could very well be harassment and violence on the part of some Americans. Regardless of how much we may explain, the bottom line is, Muslims will have to bear the brunt of the emotions that run high when such tragic incidents happen, even if they are innocent. With this in mind, we would like to suggest all Muslim individuals, families and institutions consider implementing the following tips:
1. Make Dua (supplication to Allah)
There is no power or ability except with Allah. He is our Protector and He is in control. Make Dua that everything works out in the best way with this situation and that Muslims are vindicated.
2. Protect yourself and your family
If you are a visible Muslim (i.e. have a beard, wear Hijab, etc.) be careful. If possible, avoid going out too often except when necessary. Travel in groups as much as possible to avoid being alone and thus possibly the target of angry gangs.
In addition, make sure to lock all doors to your home at all times and avoid sitting or sleeping near windows of the house (individuals may try to throw things through them).
If you have children be careful when dropping them off to school and for the next few days, try to avoid letting them play outside.
3. Protect Masjids, Islamic centers and Islamic schools
These three institutions are a favorite target of those who harass and intimidate. All of these institutions' administrators should arrange for extra security measures and try to get police protection for the next week at least.
4. Have a family meeting about this
In your home, hold a family meeting about this issue. Everyone should be included, even small children. Discuss what has happened, the Islamic position on it, as well as what measures everyone can and must take to protect themselves in the coming weeks.
Also discuss how to deal with the topic if it comes up at work or school. Remind children to inform you if their teachers or classmates harass them about the incident. In addition, discuss positive strategies you can take as a family to maintain good relations with your neighbors at this time.
5. Record incidents of harassment
If you are harassed at work, school or in a business, write everything down. Note down the date, time and place, as well as what was said or done that constituted harassment.
After this, contact organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Washington, DC so that they can do a more thorough investigation and include it in their yearly report on Muslim civil rights in America next year.
Also, contact the manager or head of the company and lodge a formal complaint about the incident.
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