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Islamophobia after 9/11

Last month, 19 years since the 9/11 attacks were completed. This occasion reminded the world that no matter what the circumstance, the world can stand tall and rise up to fight back. However, while the world is filled with grief for the families who lost loved ones, the world fails to realise the rapid increase in oppression towards Muslims. The western hemisphere, influenced by both the government and other connservative extremists, has placed harsh stereotypes on all muslims. This was fueled by the anouncement of the war on terrorism, with many misguided to believing that this was a war against muslims. Western culture itself has evolved so disgracefully that some characterise muslims as interchangeable with terrorists. 

In the United States of America, where this disgusting phenomen is present at a larger scale than other nations, the youth itself are nurtured in a manner where it is a norm to discriminate muslims or where muslim teens are thought to be dangerous. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) reports 53% of Muslim school-aged children in California said they have been “made fun of, verbally insulted or abused.” Nationally, 42% of Muslim children reported being bullied, according to the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. Jokes about 9/11 or about bombing are thrown around towards muslims at an alarmingly high rate. 

Unfortunately, the youth arent the only category in which anti-muslim bias is prevelant. According to a report released by the Council on American - Islamic Relation, 2,213 anti-Muslim bias incidents occured in the United States in 2017 ; the number has been increasing rapidly since 2015. Islamic mosques were threatened by multiple letters, filled with derogatory language and pushing for the closure of those holy sites. Some weren't even threatened, they were directly attacked. Multiple mosques in bias committees like Texas and Florida were the victims of vandalism while some were destroyed brutally.

During incumbent president Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016, anti-muslim sentiments reached an all-time peak. Trump focussed his campaign primarily on islamist militant attacks and additionally suggested to impose a temporary ban on Muslims (from muslim-majority nations) coming to the States. His successful campaign then became one of the primary reasons for a rise in anti-semitic acts by 34% according to the Anti-Defamation League. It was also a prominent reason for a 44% increase in anti-muslim crimes.

The final insult to this deep wound is a bias in the judicial system itself. Out of all the Muslim civil right cases in the United States of America, only 17% of those cases made it to trial. 83% of the cases were dismissed during pre-trial. Most of these were regarding a ‘hostile work environment’ or taunts regarding muslims being part of Al-qaeda.  Judges were so adamant on ruling against muslims that they chose to note intricate details while ignoring major flaws in their opinion.

Conclusively, our world needs to learn to become one where all cultures and practices are respected equally. 9/11 was a gross reminder of the larger threat of terrorism. However, it is not right to blame a whole race just for the deeds of a handful of extremists in them. 2,977 people died during the tragic day of the 9/11 bombings, but millions accross the globe have become victims to the discrimination that followed. It is time that the western hemisphere and in particular the United States, make a change in their horrific behaviour. It is time that bodies meant to be neutral fulfill their purpose of justice. Like the New Testament said, ‘Treat others the way you want to be treated’, and no one thinking rationally wants to be a victim of religious discrimination.

~ Nehal Singhal

1 Comment

Ojus Krishna
Ojus Krishna
Oct 27, 2020

Wow great article 🙏🙏🙏

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