Donald Trump has made the implementation of a deportation task force and temporary Muslim immigration ban a major rhetoric during his presidential campaign. Read the interesting report/story after the cut.
Bilal Elcharfa was pouring cereal for his children before school this month when his 7-year-old daughter, Maaria, walked into the kitchen, calling for him.
“Baba, I had a scary dream,” she said, hugging him tight. “About Donald Trump.”
It was the morning after the second presidential debate, which the Elcharfa family’s two youngest daughters watched in the basement of their Staten Island home with their parents. In the middle of the night, Maaria went to her parents’ room twice, unable to sleep, and walked to the living room and checked her family’s security camera.
That morning, Mr. Elcharfa, 52, asked his daughter what she saw in the nightmare.
“He was so mean to us,” she said. “He had a scary face, like a zombie or something.” In the dream, Maaria later said, Mr. Trump came to the home of every Muslim family in the country and put each one in jail. Don’t worry,” he told his daughter, comforting her. “He’s just talk.”
He tried to sound convincing. But her nightmare unsettled him. Mr. Elcharfa and his wife had fled war in their native Lebanon in the hopes of raising a family in safety in the United States. Mr. Elcharfa, a taxi driver, had dealt with his own share of anti-Muslim sentiment, like the time a passenger refused to pay his fare because he said Muslims needed to pay for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
But for innocent Maaria, who still loves playing dress-up and pretending she is a princess, to experience it? Never had he felt so helpless.
“I’m trying to let my kids live in peace,” he said. “I don’t want them to worry.”
Maaria is just beginning to understand that her family’s faith sets her apart in her public school, where she is one of only a few Muslims in her second-grade class. But she does not fully grasp how it could be used against her, and she lacks the ability of even her older siblings, in their teens, to absorb the blows.
“They cannot defend themselves, They’re still young,” Mr. Elcharfa said about Maaria and her 9-year-old sister, Zaynub. “.”
Across the country, Muslim parents have been facing such moments almost daily, riding each tumultuous wave of the news cycle, including Mr. Trump’s incendiary rhetoric and calls to ban Muslims from entering the country and the recent bombing in Manhattan. But how to explain such harsh realities to a young child?
Even as some Muslim parents try to shelter their children from the news, they cannot prevent them from hearing hurtful words in their classrooms and at the playground. Their children come home asking their parents why a classmate said Mr. Trump, the Republican nominee, wants to kick their family out of the country. They ask why, if their religion is one of peace, they so often get called terrorists in the hallways.
Many Muslim parents fear that the tensions could push their children away from the faith entirely. They are struggling with how to balance guiding their children in practicing and defending their religion, and letting them embrace it — or not — on their own terms.
“We don’t know how to handle it sometimes,” Mr. Elcharfa said. “Maybe someday they won’t believe in anything.
Last spring, the Elcharfas’ 9-year-old, Zaynub, was sitting on the carpet in her third-grade classroom when two boys said to her, “If Donald Trump becomes president, he’s going to kick you out of the country.”
That night, frightened, she asked her mother about it.
“Are we going to get kicked out? Where are we going to go?”
Her mother, Nayla Elhamoui, assured her that no president could do that. “That will never affect us,” she told her daughter. “We belong here.” She called the school’s parent coordinator the next day. The principal met with the students and instructed them to apologize to Zaynub.
Mr. Elcharfa first came to the United States in the mid-1980s, and Ms. Elhamoui joined him about a decade later, after marrying him in Lebanon. Their five children, ages 7 to 18, were all born in the United States.
Source: NY Daily News