Watch: The Daily Show on how Muslim women can be more “America-loving”

On The Daily Show last night, Jon Stewart brilliantly took down the racial and Islamophobic abuse Muslim women face in America. After highlighting this week’s Supreme Court verdict in favor of a Muslim woman denied a job on the basis of wearing a headscarf, Stewart tore into United Airlines for their refusal to serve another Muslim American woman a can of Diet Coke — on the grounds that she might “use it as a weapon.” 

In a now viral post from last Friday, Tahera Ahmad, director of interfaith engagement and associate chaplain at Northwestern University, detailed how she asked the flight attendant why she was refused an unopened can of soda if a man sitting nearby was given one. The flight attendant told her, “It’s so you don’t use it as a weapon.” After asking other passengers for support, Ahmad, who wears a headscarf, was instead told, “Yes you know you would use it as a weapon so shut the fuck up.”

As Ahmad pointed out to The Guardian, “This isn’t about me and a soda can…It’s about systemic injustice that is perpetuated throughout our community.” Nearly a decade and a half after 9/11 and despite vast underreporting, documented hate crimes targeting Muslims in America are five times higher than they were in 2000. This year, we’ve seen mosque burningsassaults, multiple murders, the list goes on. Last week, white dudes with guns surrounded a Phoenix mosque during Friday services.

In light of all of this, it is a relief to see stories like Ahmad’s garnering much-deserved media attention. But her ongoing ordeal is a somber reminder that visibility for women who speak out only makes them more vulnerable to abuse. As Ahmad again shares with The Guardian:

“Somebody called me and acted like they were a United representative.” Realizing that the caller might not be an actual employee of the airline, Ahmad asked for evidence of his employment. “So he said, ‘What? You don’t believe me? You want to see my dick? You want to suck on my dick? I know you Muslims like that.”

Watch The Daily Show take on this bigotry below.

And part two:

Header Image Credit: Washington Times

Mahroh is a community organizer and law student who believes in building a world where black and brown women and our communities are able to live free of violence. Prior to law school, Mahroh was the Executive Director of Know Your IX, a national survivor- and youth-led organization empowering students to end gender violence and a junior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Her research addresses the ways militarization, racism, and sexual violence impact communities of color transnationally.

Mahroh is currently at Harvard Law School, organizing against state and gender-based violence.

Read more about Mahroh

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