There's nothing for Muslims in Trump's America


    The things Donald Trump has said about Muslims


The things Donald Trump has said about Muslims 01:24

Story highlights

  • Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, as outspoken Muslim, says she didn't visit US for years after 9/11
  • Now she says she will stay away because of pride and prejudice

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is a British columnist and author. She has written extensively on immigration and multiculturalism. The opinions in this article belong to the writer.

(CNN)My best friend is, like me, a Shia Muslim who wears her faith lightly. She is a doctor in Pittsburgh. I visited her in October.

Two years ago, she had a heart attack and found it hard to stay away from the work she loves and excels at. She is back now, getting up at 6 every morning to go and look after her many devoted patients at the family practice she set up 40 years ago. She was always a proud American; she has a flag fluttering outside her house.
I'm trying to find the right words to say before phoning her.
    Despair and panic must be spreading like a fever through families such as hers -- and other decent, fair Americans, too. Many will want to leave. Apparently the Canadian immigration website crashed after the US election results.
    Donald Trump protests erupt across the US
    Donald Trump protests erupt across the US


      Donald Trump protests erupt across the US


    Donald Trump protests erupt across the US 00:45
    In 2004, when George W. Bush was re-elected, a number of disillusioned US citizens moved to the UK. Today there are more Americans living in the UK (212,150) than there are Jamaicans (172,829), according to UN figures. I wonder how many more will now follow.
    Several Muslims I know have been in the United States for decades. Some are successful professionals and business folk; others drive cabs or do low-paid jobs. It was never easy being a Muslim in that fervently Christian country, but they were resilient and grateful for the opportunities they had.
    I made a Channel 4 documentary in 1996 on the Oklahoma City bombing. The bomber was a white American extremist, but several interviewees believed Muslims were to blame. The home of an Iraqi couple who had fled Saddam Hussein's Iraq was attacked. She miscarried. One senator told me: "It wasn't an Ali or Mohammed this time, but it could have been."
    The paranoia was affirmed when terrorists struck on 9/11, and life got harder still for American Muslims. They got better organized and politicized. One of them, a millionaire and second-generation American explained: "We thought being quiet, hard-working and invisible would be enough. But no. We have to mobilize to stand up. America was a country made by people escaping religious persecution." His wife is Jewish and an activist. On Wednesday, he rang me with all his strength drained: "This is a disaster. It's over. But where can we go?"
    In 2000, about 70% of American Muslims voted Republican. Donald Trump maligned these loyal citizens and promised to ban their co-religionists from the country. He was even contemptuous of the parents of Humayun Khan, a soldier killed in action in Iraq.
    You do get pleasers such as Sajid Tarar, founder of American Muslims for Trump. But most other Muslims feel they have suddenly been deprived of their rightful place in this multifarious nation.
    After 9/11, I didn't go to the United States for several years because I was warned privately by some influential people that I, being outspoken and Muslim, was on some blacklist. I never knew for sure but stayed away. Now I must stay away because of pride (mine) and prejudice (theirs). America is no country for Muslims, Hispanics, feminists or African-Americans.