9/11 Terrorist Attacks and Its Effect on Muslims
On September 11 2011, a group of 19 Islamic extremists with links to the Al-Qaida terrorist network took control of four transcontinental airplanes and crashed them into strategic locations in the United States of America, killing thousands of civilians and maiming many more (Abdo 7-8).
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The main intention of the terrorists under the leadership of the now deceased Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, it seems, was the arbitrary mass murder of innocent civilians for the purpose of inflicting as much physical, emotional, mental, and economical destruction on the United States as they probably could (Sander 809-810). The present paper discusses the consequences of this historical event on Muslims in the United States and abroad.
Available literature demonstrates that “the events of and subsequent response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the USA had a profound impact on the Western world’s perceptions of Islam and relations with Muslims communities living in Western countries” (Rane & Ewart 310).
Owing to the Islamic links of the terrorists, many Muslims were and continue to be viewed with a lot of suspicion not only in America but also in other countries where the religious group forms a minority (Rashid 754). As postulated by this author, the September 11 terrorist attacks have fuelled the misrepresentation of Islam and Muslims in the American Society to a point where many people and mainstream media commentators equate Muslims with terrorists.
Since the September 11 terrorist attacks, it is evident that “media and political discourse has tended to associate Islam with violence and values inimical to those of Western societies” (Rane & Ewart 312). Indeed, most Muslims are now perceived in a negative way by non-Muslims, and as practicing a strange and inferior religion which threatens the very existence of other religions and societies.
However, it should be recalled that such a negative depiction of Muslims was non-existent prior to 9/11, hence the argument that the historical event triggered the spurious labeling of Muslims as inherently violent and as practicing strange religious beliefs that condone terrorist acts.
Lastly, it can be argued that the September 11 terrorist attacks triggered a predisposition to view Muslims as opposed to the principles of liberal democracy and hence as unwanted in most democratic Western societies (Rane & Ewart 314).
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This predisposition has led to the social and political exclusion of the Muslim population in many Western societies despite the fact that most Muslims actually subscribe to the liberal democratic thought. It should be remembered that President Barrack Oboma was unfairly targeted during the presidential campaigns as unable to safeguard the democratic ideals of the United States due to the fact that he had a Muslim middle name.
Overall, it is concluded that the mentioned consequences have served to disorient Muslims and draw them closer to the “causes” propagated by terrorists, as most feel that they are being unfairly targeted due to the deeds of a few fundamentalists. As such, it is important for governments and other stakeholders to develop and implement strategies aimed at correcting the consequences emanating from the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Abdo, Geneive. “Islam in America: Separate but Unequal.” The Washington Quarterly. 28.4 (2005): 7-17. Academic Search Premier.
Rane, Halim and Jacqui Ewart. “The Framing of Islam and Muslims in the Tenth Anniversary Coverage of 9/11: Implications for Reconciliation and Moving On.” Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. 32.3 (2012): 310-322. Academic Search Premier.
Rashid, Shaykh Ahmed Abdur. “The Emerging Phenomena of Post-9/11.” Political Theology. 12.5 (2011): 752-761. Academic Search Premier.
Sander, Ake. “Experiences of Swedish Muslims after the Terror Attacks in the USA on 11 September 2001.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 32.5 (2006): 809-830. Academic Search Premier.