New York: American Muslim women have lashed out at Donald Trump for implying that Muslim women are not “allowed” to speak, launching a viral social media campaign after the Republican presidential nominee’s remarks about a slain Pakistani-origin soldier’s mother.
Through the ‘#CanYouHearUsNow’ campaign, Muslim women activists are sharing on social media the various ways they speak out every day. They will also tweet about who they are and how they speak out.
A user Linda Sarsour tweeted, “Tired of the obsession w/ Muslim women and who you think we are and are capable of. We define us. We tell our own stories. #CanYouHearUsNow”.
Another user Rim-Sarah Alouane wrote on the micro-blogging site, “@realDonaldTrump – This is a list of Muslim #Nobel laureates. 3 of them are women. What did you do? #CanYouHearUsNow”.
Muslim-American women also highlighted their personal accomplishments and careers across many fields.
Zainab Chaudary wrote “Frmr. Public servant, media expert, defending civil liberties of ALL Americans, proud Muslim woman. #CanYouHearUsNow”.
Sumbal Naqi wrote “I’m a female Muslim lawyer. 4 generations of women writers,doctors,lawyers in family. Don’t dare say Muslim women don’t speak!#CanYouHearUsNow”.
“Successfully taught my kids to respect others, share and not throw tantrums on stage. @realDonaldTrump need a lesson? #CanYouHearUsNow,” wrote Shadia Igram.
The campaign has been launched in response to remarks made by Trump towards Ghazala Khan, mother of Pakistani-origin US Army Captain Humayun Khan who died while serving in Iraq in 2004.
In a scathing attack on Trump, Khan’s father Khizr Khan said during an emotionally charged speech at the Democratic National Convention last week that Trump had “sacrificed nothing and no one”.
His wife, visibly emotional and holding back tears, had stood silently next to her husband as he addressed the convention to thunderous applause.
Trump later drew significant ire when he suggested during a TV interview that Ghazala did not speak because she was not “allowed” to do so.
“If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably – maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me,” Trump said.
Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy organisation Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) also joined the social media campaign by American Muslim women demanding that Trump apologise for disparaging Ghazala Khan.
Ghazala later did speak out in response to Trump’s remarks, writing in an op-ed that “Trump criticised my silence. He knows nothing about true sacrifice”.