By AKINYI OCHIENG
Black parents across America have long instructed their children on navigating discrimination and avoiding its sometimes deadly consequences. But for black immigrant Muslims, this conversation takes on an entirely different dimension.
Growing up, Ahlaam Ibraahim, a Somali-American student at the University of Washington, felt the dual struggles of being a religious and ethnic minority. “As a black woman, I’m scared of the police because I see people that look like me killed simply for being black. As a Muslim woman, I’m scared of being attacked and killed,” Ibraahim says. “Do they notice I’m a Muslim because of my hijab and my blackness because of my melanin?”
The intersection of these two identities has become more acute thanks to Black Lives Matter and protests against the Trump administration’s executive order on immigration.
A recent survey by Pew Research showed that almost 6 in 10 Americans believe Muslims face “a lot” of discrimination. Another Pew study found that while races differ in their perceptions of how anti-black discrimination affects achievement, nearly a third of white Americans believe blacks have a harder time getting ahead compared to70 percent of black Americans.