trump protest Protest against Trump's Muslim ban, London. Photo: Flickr/Jim Aindow

We must step up the fight against hatred and division, writes Shabbir Lakha

Trump’s vile rhetoric and the actions he’s taken since becoming President have brought issues of racism and Islamophobia to the fore. Trump has been described as an “equal opportunities hater” in his attacks on Muslims, Mexicans, black people, gay people and women, to name a few of the affected communities.

Opposition to racism has been at the centre of the resistance. Protests on the day of his inauguration and the Women’s March the following day made clear anti-racist statements. The protests in response to Trump’s Muslim Ban were even clearer in opposing racism and Islamophobia, supporting refugees and calling out Theresa May not only for her appeasement of Donald Trump but also for her own harmful policies affecting Muslims, ethnic minorities and refugees.

The government has consistently used Muslims and migrants as scapegoats whilst pushing through austerity and more war. By coming together with the mass movements that have been opposing war and austerity, we can build a united front that tackles the root issues and create real pressure on the government.

Overt and often violent racist and Islamophobic attacks have been on the increase on both sides of the Atlantic as a result of the War on Terror and more recently during and after the campaigns for London Mayor, the EU referendum and the US presidential election. But racialised police brutality and institutional racism have long been a reality for Muslims, black people and ethnic minorities.

As the mobilisations against Trump grow, movements such as Black Lives Matter, Muslim and Jewish organisations, and other black and ethnic minority group rights groups must come together. We must build the broadest-possible anti-Trump movement and put our voices at the front of the movement and solidify the opposition around anti-racism.

Shabbir Lakha

Shabbir Lakha is a Stop the War officer, a People's Assembly activist and a member of Counterfire.

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