The Plight of Arab Americans after September 11 Created by Tony, Blake, and Angel

The morning of September 11, 2001 was a historic date. The day is remembered for the tragic terrorist attacks that occurred which killed around 3 thousand people. However, these attacks also affected Arab Americans up to this day.

Who are they & what caused their persecution?

The Arabian-Americans after 9/11 were innocent American citizens who faced discrimination, harassment, verbal abuse, and physical abuse for simply being Muslim. This is because the terrorists were Muslim which destroyed the perception of Arab Americans. Despite the attack taking place in 2001, the effects have lingered up to today.

This shows the effects of this hate and discrimination.

Before the attacks, Muslims were able to walk down the street in peace and harmony without being disturbed for their ethnicity. Muslims were able to live their daily lives without the fear of being beaten by strangers on the street. They didn't have to tell their kids about why their parents came home with bruises and why the white people hated them. Also all were able to go to events such as carnivals without anyone telling them to leave. For months following the attack, Muslims were forced to hide in their homes to avoid harassment and violence and those that went into the public would have to pretend to be of a different ethnicity.

Even the Sikhs, who were not Muslims, were being attacked by Americans. Singh, an Arab Sikh, was going about his business one day, not hurting anyone. When all of a sudden, he was attacked by a few American men because of his clothes and his appearance. On September 21, 2013, Singh was walking with a friend when he heard someone yell, "Terrorist, Osama, get him". Singh and his friend were chased down, attacked, and mocked. Singh, who is an accomplished doctor, was discriminated, called names, and beaten simply because of his appearance

How did their society respond to them?

Unfortunately, this hate hasn't disappeared. In fact, it has only worsened these past years. The Daily Beast states that, "an ABC poll in 2001 found that 47 percent of Americans had a favorable view of Islam. By 2010, that number had dropped to 37 percent ... And today [2014], alarmingly, only 27 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Muslim Americans" (Dean Obeidallah, 2014). This is especially peculiar because despite it being more than a decade since the 9/11 attacks, these scores only decreased.

Obeidallah acknowledges that "the horrible acts committed by radical Muslims have had a big impact" (2014). Terrorist groups like ISIS have committed many atrocities which obviously haven't improved Western Muslim communities' image. In fact, it almost seems like each time a terrorist attack does take place, there is an expectation that Muslims should publicly condemn these acts. Obeidallah touches on this by saying, "condemning terrorism and getting media coverage for it are two different things ... Muslim leaders holding a press conference denouncing terrorism, which they have done extensively in response to ISIS, will result in two to three minutes of media coverage on cable news, if they’re lucky" (2014). Overall, it seems there is a double standard when it comes to what Americans expect to see and what is actually covered by the media.

Muslims are publicly condemning the ISIS attacks. Sadly these events are overshadowed by other events in the media.

How did their government respond?

The government didn't seem to have done much about the persecution of Arab Americans (the statistics shown earlier can prove that). Of course, they did react to the 9/11 attacks but they did nothing regarding the aftermath effects of this American community. However, it recently seems that Trump has brought up the discussion but isn't doing anything to help. Quite the contrary, he might make things worse for the community. According to The Guardian, "He said there was such hatred among Muslims around the world towards Americans that it was necessary to rebuff them en masse, until the problem was better understood" (Ed Pilkington, 2015). These kinds of statements are only going to rile people up, which will lead to more of what we've already seen.

how "The crucible" relates?

In both "The Crucible" and reality, people have been falsely accused for something they did not commit. Both had people who were/are victimized for things they had no control over. In "The Crucible", lowly townsfolk were easy targets of the witch accusations. However, they were not witches but it didn't matter. They still fell victim regardless. A similar circumstance could also be applied for Arab Americans. Despite having no control over the enormities of terrorist, they still fall victim to discrimination, harassment, and all around abuse.

Bibliography

  • Obeidallah, Dean. "13 Years After 9/11, Anti-Muslim Bigotry Is Worse Than Ever." The Daily Beast. The Daily Beast Company, 11 Sept. 2014. Web. Dec. 2016. <http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/09/11/13-years-after-9-11-anti-muslim-bigotry-is-worse-than-ever.html>.
  • Basu, Moni. "15 Years after 9/11, Sikhs Still Victims of Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes." CNN. Cable News Network, 12 Sept. 2016. Web. Dec. 2016. <http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/15/us/sikh-hate-crime-victims/>.
  • "Donald Trump Calls for Complete Ban on Muslims Entering the US – Video." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 07 Dec. 2015. Web. Dec. 2016. <https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2015/dec/08/donald-trump-calls-for-complete-ban-on-muslims-entering-the-us-video>.

Credits:

Created with images by KimCarpenter NJ - "9-11-11 WTC Tribute In Light from Jersey City, NJ"

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