A poll released last week found that Americans' fears about terrorism are at a level not seen since Sept. 11, 2001. But for Muslim-Americans, living in fear is nothing new.
When Moustafa Bayoumi heard Donald Trump's call to bar Muslims from entering the United States last week, he was on his way to class.
"I felt the energy for me to teach the class had just been deflated," says Bayoumi, a professor at Brooklyn College. "You're paralyzed."
Worse, for Bayoumi, was the fact that it was not a new feeling. Laying the current wave of Islamophobia "on the doorstep of Trump is almost too easy," Bayoumi says.
Déjà vu all over again
Before Sept. 11, 2001, Americans were more likely to identify Muslim-Americans with African-Americans — Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali.
The number of Muslims in America — around 3 million — is small, and the number of acts of terrorism associated with their faith is "minuscule," Bayoumi says. It has become a commonplace to note that the vast majority of Muslims and Muslim-Americans are peaceful and just as committed as anyone else to stopping the violent fringe.
"My life really has nothing to do with terrorism," Bayoumi says. But when Muslims are assumed to be radical extremists, the idea of a "clash of civilizations" becomes "a self-fulfilling prophecy."
Bayoumi recently published "This Muslim American Life," a collection of essays that came out in September, before the Paris attacks, the shootings in San Bernardino, or the latest reaction from Trump.
Some of the essays were written as many as 15 years ago. Still, the policies he writes about have been much-discussed of late — from Muslim registration programs to increased surveillance of Muslim communities. This shouldn't be surprising, Bayoumi says, because they are based on concerns that have been around since at least 9/11.
There was the National Security Exit-Entry Registration System, which required immigrant men from certain Muslim countries to register with Homeland Security — suspended in 2011.
And the NYPD operated its so-called "Demographics Unit," which conducted suspicionless surveillance of mosques, restaurants, bookstores and colleges — including Bayoumi's. The program was suspended in 2014, though some of its mandate lives on.