New Delhi, Delhi, India
Feb 26, 2017, 12.14 PM
A hijab-wearing woman quit her job merely eight days into the Donald Trump administration, due to the Muslim ban imposed by the 70-year-old American president.
Rumana Ahmed, a Bangladeshi immigrant whose family moved to the US in 1978, penned a long piece in The Atlantic to talk about the tenuous eight days she worked for the Trump administration.
Ahmed, in her 30s, had joined the White House in 2011 and later moved to the National Security Council under the Barack Obama administration.
She wrote glowingly about the previous administration, writing that she always felt "welcomed and included", but the incoming administration's continuous vilification of the Muslims and the eventual travel ban on Muslims from seven countries firmed her mind to leave her West Wing job.
The George Washington University graduate said she initially felt like sticking on to her job under the new era to provide a "nuanced" understanding of Islam but after the controversial Muslim ban, she knew "she could no longer stay and work for an administration that saw me and people like me not as fellow citizens, but as a threat".
She also chronicled about her penultimate day at the White House: "The evening before I left, bidding farewell to some of my colleagues, many of whom have also since left, I notified Trump’s senior NSC communications adviser, Michael Anton, of my departure, since we shared an office. His initial surprise, asking whether I was leaving government entirely, was followed by silence––almost in caution, not asking why. I told him anyway.
"I told him I had to leave because it was an insult walking into this country’s most historic building every day under an administration that is working against and vilifying everything I stand for as an American and as a Muslim. I told him that the administration was attacking the basic tenets of democracy. I told him that I hoped that they and those in Congress were prepared to take responsibility for all the consequences that would attend their decisions.
"He looked at me and said nothing."
Ahmed’s personal account comes amid a spike in incidents of intimidation and assault targeting hijab-wearing women across the US following Trump’s electoral triumph.