Post 9/11 Stereotypes

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A date that has gone down infamously in America’s history is the tragic event that occurred on September 11, 2001. This date was a turning point in the world, and many changes could be seen, such as the addition of the TSA in airports and increased security. However, one of the lesser known effects was the sense of fear that was unconsciously instilled within our communities. Today, this fear is represented through our heightened awareness towards terrorism, and the increased distance we tend to place between ourselves and our fellow community members. While 9/11 was a day most noted for its horrific display of terror and the loss of many lives, it was also the day that we, as a nation, lost our sense of security and replaced it with a sense …show more content…

In fact, according to a study of attitudes towards Muslim Americans post 9/11, after 9/11 “the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported a 1,700 percent increase of hate crimes against Muslim Americans between 2000 to 2001” (Khan). While discrimination towards Muslim Americans existed before, after 9/11 the general public’s view of Muslim Americans rapidly declined and resulted in an increase in the Muslim-terrorist stereotype as well as many individuals having to face unwanted hostility. In a study on microaggressions directed towards Muslim Americans, a participant shared, “’A truck driver said to my mom, ‘Say hi to Osama,”’ presuming that because she was Muslim she was associated with terrorism (Nadal). While in another case, a participant described how because his name was Osama, his seventh grade teacher “accidentally” called him Osama bin Laden during attendance, “but [he knew] she was doing it on purpose [because] she kept doing it over and over” (Nadal). These subtle actions are forms of aggressions based out of contempt, hated, and fear towards Muslim Americans. Similarly, since 9/11, there has been an increase in the monitoring and surveillance of Muslim Americans. In a study on the emotional and behavioral responses Muslim Americans have to …show more content…

As a result, the media that cover these events dictate what and how they are shared. However, it only helps to feed our sense of fear towards terrorism as well as fuel the Muslim stereotype. In fact, according to a study on deconstructing the terrorism- news media relationship, “terrorists use media as a tool to gain increased coverage and communicate their message,” but sometimes the news does it for them (Ross). For example, in the UCLA shooting, where two men were killed in a murder-suicide, the news’ portrayal of the situation led many to believe that there were multiple attackers instead of just the one. While this may not directly convey terrorists’ message, it helps to spread unnecessary fear of terrorism in our communities. However, if we were to instead reach out to local mediums, like the news or paper, and spread basic information about Islam, it would possibly have the reverse effect and be a faster more effective way in changing the general public’s perception of Muslim Americans to be more

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