The events of September 11th 2001 created dramatic changes in the lives of peoples all across the globe. The devastating aftermath of the attacks of that day is never ending in the lives of most people – especially those who were personally affected by the horrific acts of terrorism. Muslims, in particular, have had to experience the backlashes of the September 11th events. An already misunderstood and misrepresented group of people have, in addition, had to deal with incredible biases, bigotry, misdirected hate, and religious intolerance. Many Americans who, unjustly, attack the religion of Islam and its faithful followers are, in reality, very ignorant on the subject of Islam and the beliefs of the religion. Their ignorance, fear, and need to find blame after such a traumatic event blind them from their own false stereotypes and generalizations, and they justify their own prejudice. This paper will first describe misconceptions of Islam that existed prior to the September 11th attacks and will then go on to describe how those negative stereotypes, along with the need to find blame, have caused many Muslims-Americans to experience incredible bias and discrimination, solely based on their religious beliefs.
Americans, for many years, have misunderstood the nature and beliefs of Islam and the practices of its followers. The democratic values and ideals that are held sacred in the United States often skew the American peoples’ perceptions of foreign cultures and customs. In trying to understand the practices of Islam, Americans are often times unable to view Islamic traditions without being influenced by their own Western biases. Preconceived notions and stereotypes are continually ...
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... http://usinfo.state.gov/topical/pol/terror/02030810.htm, March 5, 2002.
6. “Southern Baptist Leadership Chose to Spew Hate,”
http://www.islam101.com/terror/sbaptists.htm, June 24, 2002.
7. Vicki Silverman, “Muslim Americans Support Anti-Terrorism Campaign,”
http://usinfo.state.gov/topical/pol/terror/01101003.htm, October 8, 2001.
8. Susan Domowitz, “American Muslim Leaders Condemn Terrorism, Defend Muslims’
Civil Rights,” http://usinfo.state.gov/topical/pol/terror/01091907.htm,
September 18, 2001.
9. “Poll: Majority of U.S. Muslims Suffered Post-9/11 Bias,”
pdf, August 21, 2002.
10. “CAIR Report: American Muslims One Year after 9/11,”
http://www.islam101.com/terror/cairReport911.htm, September 2, 2002.
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