Dearborn hit the national radar during this election season due to the unusually high concentration of Muslim Americans in the city. Many leaders spoke out against Donald Trump and attempted to mobilize their congregations to vote against him and what they considered harmful rhetoric. The increase in threats and hate crimes against Muslims have increased substantially since the campaign began and now that Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States, American Muslims are more afraid than ever. Everyone in Dearborn should be concerned about their safety today. When such a large portion of the community might be targeted by local criminals as well as those from outside the area who choose this city because the population is approximately 30% Muslim, no one is actually secure in their own home. The best thing to do is first install a security system with cameras that stream live footage to your phone. If something happens at your house while you are away, you will know about it and the police will have a clear picture of the perpetrator. All law-abiding citizens should be able to enjoy their lives without worrying about hate groups or others who simply don’t understand the Muslim faith, harming them or their family members. While a security system might deter some crimes, hate crimes are often done while the perpetrator is very emotional and this means they may not even notice they are being recorded. The only way to catch and stop these people is for neighbors to watch out for each other. A neighborhood full of concerned citizens is always safer than one where few people even know each other’s names. Getting to know your neighbors can have a few benefits. In addition to keeping your property safe, when you get to know the people who live around you, you might find out you have a lot in common. Some communities decide to form neighborhood watch groups and commit to preventing crime in their own communities by reporting suspicious activity to their law enforcement liaison. Others merely meet with each other socially to get to know each other so they know who lives in their neighborhood. By knowing who should be there, it’s easier to determine when someone is out of place. People who know and respect their neighbors are more likely to report crimes in the neighborhood because doing so helps out their friends. On the other hand, those who are isolated from the people who live near them and don’t feel any connection to their community might just ignore suspicious activity because it doesn’t affect them or their family. Of course, the former scenario creates a safer environment for everyone and also allows people to form friendships with the parents of the children their own kids play with and go to school with every day. People across the country have been assaulted and had their property damaged simply because they practice Islam. These types of hate crimes are often prosecuted but by that time, the damage has already been done. Muslim Americans have just as much right to live their lives as anyone else in this country and should not have to live in fear of a hate crime. Monitored alarm systems, neighborhood watch groups and community involvement are all methods people can use to keep themselves and their neighbors safe. Non-Muslims must also care enough about their community to ensure that hate crimes are not the norm in Dearborn. When such a large percentage of a city is a potential target for hate crimes, everyone is at risk. Criminals really don’t have a sure way of knowing which homes house Muslims so they could actually harm someone unintentionally or even lead someone to harm them while they are defending their homes. Too much crime in a community will lower property values and make escaping the city much harder for all law-abiding citizens. People who are fearful of this type of crime should do something to make themselves feel safer. Whether this involves purchasing a firearm, getting and training an attack dog or simply installing an alarm system, everyone should be able to feel comfortable in their own home. Firearms are very effective at stopping a threat but they aren’t for everyone. Many people do not feel comfortable having a gun in their house, especially if they have children. A dog can also be very effective but they require a time commitment some people aren’t prepared to devote to an animal. Dogs need to be trained and then treated like they are part of the family. If you aren’t able to commit to caring for the dog, it might not be a good choice for your family.
A monitored security system can protect a home while the residents are home and when they are not. Suspects are much more likely to be caught and charged with a crime when the police have a video from a home security camera. In an ideal world, no one would be so afraid of someone they have never met that they would feel compelled to hurt them or their family. Unfortunately, this world is far from ideal and people must protect themselves. Some media outlets portray Muslim Americans as dangerous people when in reality, there are only a few people, who happen to be Muslim, committing terrible crimes. Until this problem is resolved, no one is really safe from hate crimes.