How has Joe Biden’s first year in office impacted American Muslims?

How has Joe Biden’s first year in office impacted American Muslims?

How has Joe Biden’s first year in office impacted American Muslims?

From the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan to failing to stop law enforcement from targeting Muslims, Robert McCaw and Ismail Allison, from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, say President Biden’s first year in office has been a mixed bag for Muslims.

When President Biden officially took office at noon on January 20th, 2021, many American Muslims breathed a sigh of relief.

Although no one should have expected President Biden to become a champion for every issue important to our community, we were confident that the openly racist, xenophobic and Islamophobic rhetoric spread by President Trump would end — and that we would have an opportunity to advance positive change for our community and our country.

Now that President Biden has nearly completed his first year in office, it’s time to look back. Here are ten ways President Biden’s first year in office has impacted some of the policy issues important to our community:

Ending the Muslim and African bans
While campaigning, President Biden promised to end the Trump administration’s discriminatory Muslim and African travel bans. Immediately upon taking office, he fulfilled that promise by signing a proclamation overturning them. Although this was expected, it was an important and laudable first step. The Biden administration and Congress must still take action to repair the damage done to everyone impacted by the ban, such as diversity visa lottery winners who missed out on their chance to come to the United States.

Appointing Muslim public servants to federal positions
In his first year in office, President Biden appointed several American Muslims to high-level government positions — including Lina Khan as chair of the Federal Trade Commission, Sameera Fazili as National Economic Council Deputy Director, Reema Dodin as White House Office of Legislative Affairs Deputy Director, and Rashad Hussain as Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom.

Although the president did not fulfill his pledge to include Muslims at every level of his administration — there isn’t a single Muslim cabinet member — his other historic appointments were noteworthy and welcome. Rashad Hussain’s appointment to the Ambassador-at-Large position is especially important, given the number of Muslim communities facing Islamophobic persecution in China, France, India, Myanmar and so many other places around the world.

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