Islamophobia After 9/11

On September 11, 2001, terrorist controlled airplanes crashed into the Twin Towers and Pentagon, killing many people in order to send the United States a message. The terrorists were Muslim, which caused people to stereotype Muslims as terrorists, resulting in the increase of Islamophobia and hate crimes towards Muslims. Even today, 15 years later, Islamophobia is strong and affecting many innocent Muslim lives. The tragedies on 9/11, along with other terrorist attacks, and politicians encouraging hate towards Muslims, are the main causes for Islamophobia after 9/11 resulting in Muslims feeling like their lives changed negatively.

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Major terrorist attacks and crimes have seemed to increase the number hate crimes towards Muslims after each occurrence. Many hate crimes against Muslims occurred after a terrorist attack in Paris. In the International Business Times Michelle Mark wrote, “But hate crimes have already begun to dominate local media reports in North America and Europe in the wake of last Friday’s terror attacks in Paris.” Muslims faced more hate crimes after the terrorist attack happened than before. Also, after 9/11 occurred hate crimes towards Muslims broke a record and hate crimes today almost reach that number. Eric Lichtblau wrote in a New York times article, “That was the most since the record 481 documented hate crimes against Muslims in 2001, when the Sept. 11 attacks set off waves of crimes targeting Muslims and Middle Easterners.” The hate crimes today, a terrorist attack filled time, are almost the same amount than the ones after 9/11. Because of Islamophobia a mosque where a Muslim murderer prayed was attacked. In one of CNN’s articles, Azadeh Ansarl wrote, “The fire at the Florida mosque where Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen had prayed is the latest occurrence in the rise in attacks against Muslims nationwide.” A mosque was attacked and innocent lives were at risk because one out of the many people who prayed there happened to be a murderer. After a Muslim terrorist commits a crime many innocent Muslims’ lives are at risk, but important people are increasing Islamophobia with their influence too.

Politicians, like Donald Trump, and other figures of importance are  encouraging dislike towards Muslims with their power. There were a large number of hate crimes after Donald Trump won the presidential election. For a Pew Research Center article Katayoun Kishi wrote, “While not all incidents can be confirmed, the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights advocacy group that tracks hate crimes, reported more than 30 cases of anti-Muslim incidents in the five days following the presidential election alone.” After a powerful man who said many Islamophobic remarks, Donald Trump, become the president-elect the United States there were a huge amount of hate crimes. It is likely Trump influenced the criminals to commit acts of Islamophobia . Because of what Trump has stated the criminals feel like they can do hate crimes causing all of the ones that occurred recently. Jack Jenkins, a writer for ThinkProgress wrote, “ People who attack American Muslims, he said, feel increasingly justified by things such as Donald Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, or his assertion that all of Islam “hates” America.” It is logical that people thought Islamophobia was okay, because Donald Trump, who was one of the presidential candidates at the time the article was written, said Islamophobic statements. Important figures can be increasing Islamophobia according to members of organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations. According to an International Business Times article, Ibrahim Hooper, the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ communication director stated, “The mainstreaming of Islamophobia by a number of our nation’s political and religious leaders has encouraged the latest hate-filled actions.” Ibrahim Hooper and multiple others all think that important people increase Islamophobia by being Islamophobic. It is likely that the authors’ believes are true because multiple people think similarly and it is logic that important people would have influence. Hate crimes towards Muslims increase right after important people be Islamophobic, but Muslims feel unsafe and know they have lost a lot of the peace in their lives.

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Some people believe Muslims don’t care about Islamophobia but that actually is not true because many Muslims feel like their lives changed and are scared. For example, after 9/11, Soltani, who in college was the president of the Muslim Student Association, told the Huffington Post how he knew life after 9/11 was different than before. According to Lydia O’Connor he said, “Normally about 150 people would attend the weekly prayer service, and there were no more than 20 people, That’s when it hit me that life was not going to be the same for me as a Muslim in America as it had ever been before.” A Muslim college student, who likely was mature enough to predict social change, and felt life was going to be different based on clear evidence, was probably saying what other members of his religion thought. Also, 130 Muslims didn’t show up to the mosque showing many Muslims were scared to show they were Muslim. In addition, according to Public Radio International a Muslim writer, Shawna Ayoub Ainslie, shared with the Huffington Post that she was very scared and could make a life-ruining mistake very easily. Ainslie claimed, “I was afraid to go outside. If I stayed inside, I couldn’t mess up, except maybe with my words, which I policed carefully. I couldn’t speed, I couldn’t frighten anyone, I couldn’t break any law.” A Muslim said herself that she was very scared. A Muslim person can speak best for Muslim people, and other Muslims have reason to think like that too. After her mother was afraid from experiencing Islamophobia, Goraya told the Huffington Post about the situation. Goraya stated, “She stopped going out altogether and didn’t leave the house. My siblings, my dad and I all tried to convince her to live her life and not give up on her daily activities like shopping, going to the gym or visiting friends, but she would not have it.”  This Muslim claimed her mother was so scared she only stayed in the house showing Islamophobia was scaring Muslims. If one Muslim was that scared that means others were at least somewhat scared.  As shown by these people Islamophobia caused many Muslims to realize their lives were going to change and fear their safety.

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People of influence, recently Donald Trump, and the many recent terrorist attacks that have sprung up have increased Islamophobia. The large quantity of Islamophobia has convinced many innocent Muslims that they are unsafe and made them realize that their lives after 9/11 were never going to be the same as before. After a very small percentage of Muslims did a terrorist attack other people assumed that every or most of the Muslims deserved of our hate. We have treated Muslims with prejudice they don’t deserve, sometimes even taking their lives, because of Islamophobia.

 

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