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Local Muslim Activists Assess How Life in Orlando Has (and Hasn't) Changed Under the Biden Administration

Photo: Danielle Prieur
Photo: Danielle Prieur

Most of the participants on a virtual city of Orlando panel on Muslim human rights said the Biden administration needs to take action fast on a number of issues affecting the Muslim community.
Orlando activist Rasha Mubarak says that starts with speaking out against policies like House Bill 1, the combating public disorder bill, which she calls Islamophobic. 

Mubarak says the bill will make it harder for Black Muslims to protest police killings. 

She says the ability to demonstrate without discrimination is especially crucial for Black Muslims as they are often doubly targeted by police.

"This targets Black and brown people, specifically on campuses and I share that with you all because when you think about anti-protest bills, anti-free speech bills, it does target certain groups of people, and it has layers of Islamophobia."

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Mubarak says the Biden administration also still has work to do to undo the effects of the Trump administration’s Muslim travel ban. 

She says that starts with changing anti-Muslim rhetoric that was used by the Trump campaign at rallies and in policy briefs and extends to reuniting families locally.

"So when you think about, you know, there's no more Muslim ban, but the impact of how it's the separation of families of how it's impacted people's lives. We're seeing, we're seeing different cases of anti-Muslim hate."

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Mubarak says there has been a rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes in Florida including hijab snatchings when someone forcibly takes off a Muslim woman’s head scarf.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.