By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA and LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Muslim Americans, already alarmed by the election of Donald J. Trump, said Friday that Mr. Trump’s choices for crucial posts heightened their fears of discrimination, violence, deportation and even detention.
Many said they worried that a more hostile America could prompt more Muslims to join forces with terrorists.
During the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump said “Islam hates us,” endorsed the idea of a government registry of Muslims and proposed suspending immigration by Muslims or people from some Muslim-majority countries. In interviews on Friday, many Muslims said that they were not sure before the election how seriously to take such talk, hoping that it was more political hyperbole than policy, but that the personnel moves of the last few days had confirmed their worst fears.
At the Dream Cafe, a hookah bar in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, Sara Khan, 17, whose parents are from Pakistan, expressed particular concern about her family’s ability to remain in the United States. “What are we going to do if he tries to kick us out?” she asked of Mr. Trump.
“People from all over the world come here to find freedom,” she said, but now she wonders what that freedom means if “one man can take it away.”
Mr. Trump has offered the post of national security adviser to Michael T. Flynn, a retired Army general who has written that “fear of Muslims is rational,” has said that “Islam is a political ideology” and is “like a malignant cancer.” For director of central intelligence, Mr. Trump has tapped Representative Mike Pompeo of Kansas, who has said that “most Islamic leaders across America” were complicit in terrorist attacks for not speaking out more forcefully.
He has asked Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who has endorsed a Muslim immigration ban, to be attorney general, and has named Stephen K. Bannon, whom critics have denounced as a white nationalist, as senior White House strategist. And some Trump supporters have cited the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II as a possible precedent.
“I did not take Trump’s statements seriously enough, and I did not take these white nationalists as seriously as I should have,” said Zareena Grewal, an associate professor of American studies and religious studies at Yale. “That these people have moved from the fringe of American politics to the very center should frighten everybody.”
Hanan Hassan, a native of Iraq who works at a refugee center in Phoenix, mostly with people from Syria, said her mood and that of her clients had changed drastically.
“Some of us are scared of being sent back,” she said. “Our children are having issues at school.”
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