Newsflash, everyone: #MuslimsHaveRights

We’re hearing it now more than ever (Thanks, Trump!): “Muslims should get out!/Why don’t you go back to where you came from?/Muslims shouldn’t be allowed into the United States.”

Lets not even get into how these statements are problematic on so many levels. I mean, seriously- most of us would just be going back to New Jersey.

Instead, let’s pretend for a second that we did leave. What exactly would happen then?

A video campaign addressing anti-Muslim prejudice under the hashtag #MuslimsHaveRights was just released asks us just that:

“Research demonstrates that almost half (47%) of Americans admit to prejudice against Muslims. A similar proportion (46%) believe that Islam is more likely to encourage violence than other religions. 48% of Muslims in the US reported that they have experienced religious discrimination in 2010. In March 2016, 51% of Americans supported a ban on Muslims entering.

Responding to this idea, the first video in the series, “The Ban”, imagines the disappearance of Muslims and their inventions from everyday life: a doctor; a child; a cleaner; a comedian. A Muslim woman, played by leading civil rights attorney Lamis Deek, is dragged from her home by officers – while a group amasses behind her in solidarity with her message that all people are inherently valuable and deserve equal protection, and that we do not accept the surveillance, deportation, interrogation and imprisonment of Muslims.

The second video – entitled “Ideological Screening” – will be released later in October and looks at flawed attempts to profile Muslims for signs of radicalization. The FBI’s analysis of radicalization has been widely discredited by academic research. It mistakes behaviors such as “increased isolation from former life,” “wearing traditional Muslim attire,” “growing facial hair,” and “frequent attendance at a mosque or a prayer group” for indicators of radicalization. A New York Police Department document has incorrectly claimed that giving up “urban hip-hop gangster clothes” in favor of “traditional Islamic clothing” is a sign of radicalization. These ideas lead to Muslims being treated with suspicion for perfectly ordinary and legitimate behaviors.

The films were co-written by Arun Kundnani and Stewart Thorndike. Kundnani is the author of The End of Tolerance (2007) and The Muslims Are Coming! (2014) and a leading political commentator.”

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