What else can besieged American Muslims do?

Updated 3:46 PM EST, Tue December 8, 2015
trump bar all muslims entering u.s. dana bash lead_00002518.jpg
trump bar all muslims entering u.s. dana bash lead_00002518.jpg
Now playing
01:16
Donald Trump: Bar all Muslims from entering the U.S.
muslim ban jake tapper fact check orig nws_00002104.jpg
muslim ban jake tapper fact check orig nws_00002104.jpg
Now playing
03:45
Is travel ban a 'total and complete' Muslim ban?
CNN/Madeleine Stix
Now playing
01:09
Farhana Khera: She's fighting Trump's travel ban
US President Donald Trump steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on December 2, 2017. 
Trump is returning to Washington, DC after attending fundraisers in New York, New York.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on December 2, 2017. Trump is returning to Washington, DC after attending fundraisers in New York, New York.
Now playing
01:48
Official: Trump's rhetoric creating problems
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 16:  U.S. President Donald Trump signs H.J. Res. 38, disapproving the rule submitted by the US Department of the Interior known as the Stream Protection Rule in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on February 16, 2017 in Washington, DC.  The Department of Interior's Stream Protection Rule, which was signed during the final month of the Obama administration, "addresses the impacts of surface coal mining operations on surface water, groundwater, and the productivity of mining operation sites," according to the Congress.gov summary of the resolution. (Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)
Pool/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 16: U.S. President Donald Trump signs H.J. Res. 38, disapproving the rule submitted by the US Department of the Interior known as the Stream Protection Rule in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on February 16, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Department of Interior's Stream Protection Rule, which was signed during the final month of the Obama administration, "addresses the impacts of surface coal mining operations on surface water, groundwater, and the productivity of mining operation sites," according to the Congress.gov summary of the resolution. (Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:23
Trump's words on Muslims come back to haunt him
Muslim Americans Tell Trump: Thanks, but no thanks_00003824.jpg
CNN
Muslim Americans Tell Trump: Thanks, but no thanks_00003824.jpg
Now playing
04:42
Muslim American: Trump using iftar dinner as a prop
Trump drive them out terrorists sot_00000000.jpg
Host TV
Trump drive them out terrorists sot_00000000.jpg
Now playing
01:00
Trump to Muslim world: Drive out terrorists
Allie Schmitz/CNNMoney
Now playing
09:31
Are Trump's reckless tweets actually a danger?
Senior advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump Stephen Miller watches as U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivers remarks during the daily White House press briefing March 27, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee/Getty Images
Senior advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump Stephen Miller watches as U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivers remarks during the daily White House press briefing March 27, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Now playing
01:43
Travel ban author writes Trump speech on Islam
Judge Michael Hawkins
CNN
Judge Michael Hawkins
Now playing
02:31
Judge: Did Trump ever disavow Muslim ban?
In this Dec. 2, 2015, photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Prince William County Fair Ground in Manassas, Va. Trump tapped a man to be a senior business adviser to his real-estate empire even after the mans past involvement in a major mafia-linked stock fraud scheme became public. Felix Sater pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering in 1998. His conviction remained secret for nearly a decade as he worked as a government informant and an executive at the Bayrock Group, a real estate firm that partnered with Trump.  (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Cliff Owen/AP/File
In this Dec. 2, 2015, photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Prince William County Fair Ground in Manassas, Va. Trump tapped a man to be a senior business adviser to his real-estate empire even after the mans past involvement in a major mafia-linked stock fraud scheme became public. Felix Sater pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering in 1998. His conviction remained secret for nearly a decade as he worked as a government informant and an executive at the Bayrock Group, a real estate firm that partnered with Trump. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Now playing
01:24
The things Donald Trump has said about Muslims
Now playing
01:12
Trump's refugee ban and the war on ISIS
Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump speaks at the Saint Andelm College New Hampshire Institute of Politics in Manchester, New Hampshire June 13, 2016.
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump speaks at the Saint Andelm College New Hampshire Institute of Politics in Manchester, New Hampshire June 13, 2016.
Now playing
01:24
Watch Donald Trump evolve on banning Muslim immigration
CNN
Now playing
03:11
Reality check: Truth about refugees, terrorism
Protesters assemble at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, after earlier in the day two Iraqi refugees were detained while trying to enter the country. On Friday, Jan. 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order suspending all immigration from countries with terrorism concerns for 90 days. Countries included in the ban are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, which are all Muslim-majority nations. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Craig Ruttle/AP
Protesters assemble at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, after earlier in the day two Iraqi refugees were detained while trying to enter the country. On Friday, Jan. 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order suspending all immigration from countries with terrorism concerns for 90 days. Countries included in the ban are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, which are all Muslim-majority nations. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Now playing
01:33
Protesters swarm airports nationwide
Jeremy Moorhead
Now playing
03:01
Being Muslim and American in the year of Donald Trump

Story highlights

Haroon Moghul: Besieged American Muslims hoped for Obama speech to denounce anti-Muslim bigotry, outline how to defeat terror

He defended U.S. Muslims, challenged them to root extremism, giving them agency in their own narrative. He was weaker on foiling ISIS

Editor’s Note: Haroon Moghul is a fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. He is an author, essayist and public speaker. Follow him @hsmoghul. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN) —  

American Muslims had the same questions as most Americans, ahead of President Obama’s Sunday night speech to the nation about terror. What tone would he take? What new policies would he lay out? Would he take a position on gun control?

But we had even more specific concerns, too.

Haroon Moghul
Courtesy of Haroon Moghul
Haroon Moghul

Why? I cannot remember American Muslims feeling so anxious, unsettled, or scared for their future. Like many, I hoped President Obama would take a clear stand against anti-Muslim bigotry. More importantly, though, I expected an outline of how America might defeat the terrorist movement that has declared war on so much of the world.

You see, for Muslims, this year has been a painful one. Today, for example, Donald Trump called for all Muslims to be blocked from entering the United States.

The truth about Muslims in America

In April, a former candidate for U.S. Congress from Tennessee, Robert Doggart, was arrested for plotting to attack a Muslim community with guns, bombs, even a machete. In August, Ku Klux Klan member Glendon Crawford was arrested for plotting to build and use a weapon of mass destruction against Muslim targets. And politicians’ rhetoric has all but declared open season on American Muslims.