Parisian Illustrator Draws Guide On How To Deal With Seeing Islamophobia

Marie-Shirine Yener has created a guide on how to help someone who is being verbally attacked because of their faith

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Given Donald Trump's anti-Islamic rhetoric during his presidential campaign – a rhetoric that proposed a ban on Muslims entering the US and suggested Muslims sign on a national database – it's unsurprising that American Muslims are concerned for their future, ahead of Trump's impending role in the Oval Office.

Just yesterday, Donald Trump's promise to deny entry to the country for all Muslims temporarily disappeared from his campaign website only to be restored hours later, excused by Trump's staff as a 'technical glitch'.

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And there was us thinking Trump had had a change of heart.

Across the world, incidents of hate crime towards Muslims have increased in recent years with offences against American Muslims increasing by 78 per cent since 2015, according to research by California State University.

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Meanwhile in the UK, a report from Tell MAMA, a non-governmental organisation which works towards tackling anti-Muslim hatred, found that anti-Islamic abuse and attacks in public areas rose by 326 per cent in 2015, with women being the target for the majority abuse by teenage perpetrators.

However, with rising concern about the symbiotic relationship between Trumps' hateful views towards Muslims and the rise of Islamophobic attacks across the world, one artist from Paris is taking it on herself to advise people about how they can help Muslims who face persecution on a daily basis.

Marie-Shirine Yener, a 22-year-old Parisian illustrator has created a series of – illustrations originally posted on The Middle Eastern Feminist Facebook page – based on 'non-complementary behaviour', otherwise known as a 'paywall' – a psychological concept which looks to break an oppressor's connection with a victim by acting in a way that is warm and friendly in the face of hatred.

Yener's first advises people not to 'in any way, interact with the attacker. You must absolutely ignore them and focus entirely on the person being attacked' and to 'make sure to always respect the wishes of the person you're helping'.

Her four-point guide reads as follows:

Engage conversation.

Go to them, sit beside them and say hello. Try to appear calm, collected and welcoming. Ignore the attacker (this is, again, very important).

Pick a random subject and start discussing it.

It can be anything: a movie you liked, the weather, saying you like something they wear and asking where they got it...

Keep building the safe space.

Keep eye contact with them and don't acknowledge the attacker's presence: the absence of response from you two will push them to leave the area shortly.

Continue the conversation until the attacker leaves, & escort them to a safe place if necessary.

Bring them to a neutral area where they can recollect themselves; respect their wishes if they tell you they're ok and just want to go.

Fighting hatred with kindness.

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