Muslim women are taking their safety into their own hands in the wake of the presidential election.
During his campaign, President-Elect Donald Trump called for a “complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States. And after Trump’s win, some Muslim women say that they don’t feel safe in the country. A report released after Election Day showed a spike in hate crimes last year against Muslims and other minorities. And the Southern Poverty Law Center, a national civil rights organization, said Saturday that there have been at least 700 cases of intimidation and harassment since the election.
Zaineb Abdulla, the vice-president and self-defense instructor at deaf advocacy group Deaf Planet Soul, told the Washington Post that she taught a self-defense class for nine mostly Muslim women on the Sunday after Election Day. There, she trained them how to avoid a “hijab grab” and how to report and identify a hate crime. “It gives us confidence,” Abdulla told the Post. “I have a lot of messages from women saying they didn’t think it was possible to fight back.”
Abdulla later uploaded videos of the self-defense moves to Facebook, and one video has been viewed 3.5 million times, according to the Post. She says she’s also received at least 75 requests from Muslim women for similar classes, and plans to schedule classes across the country.
In addition to the uptick in interest for self-defense classes, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, a Muslim entrepreneur and the founder of MuslimGirl, will begin selling a $20 “post-election care package,” Fortune reported. The box includes a keychain with pepper spray and MuslimGirl’s Crisis Safety for Muslim Women, which advises Muslim women on the precautions they should take to stay safe.
“It’s really sad that we have to talk about [safety], but it’s really the level of insecurity that Muslim woman are feeling right now,” Al-Khatahtbeh told Fortune. “A lot of social interactions are: ‘Are you staying safe?’ ‘Are you feeling okay?’ That’s where we are right now and it sucks.”
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