The 9/11 Attack and the Arab World

The attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon had several impacts on various societal aspects, such as culture, economics, and politics. The American government was forced to reformulate its foreign policy towards the Middle East whereby it made a resolution to deal with terrorism rather than prioritize oil. It was felt that the states in the Middle East region, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan were harboring terrorists and some rogue leaders were funding the heinous acts of criminals.

Based on this, the only way to ensure peace and tranquility in the global system was to liberate the region from aggressive leaders who would do anything to achieve their interests, including killing children and innocent women. Even though the US government spent billions planning on how to bring down Baghdad and protect Benghazi, the belief of many Islamic leaders was that the region had nothing to do with the attack, with some arguing that it was a conspiracy of the Americans and their Israeli counterparts (Saroglou and Galand 102).

American policy makers were faced with the massive challenge of trying to deal with the revisionist approach to the 9/11 attack. The idea of trying to prevent the occurrence of another attack was illegitimate and some Arab leaders claimed that it was a big American lie since the move targeted innocent Middle Easterners and their beautiful religion.

The belief that Islamic ideology encourages people to murder was uncalled for since Allah does not allow the killing of another person without a genuine reason. For some Muslims, Al Qaeda does not exist and the term is an American creation meant to subjugate, oppress, and dominate the Arabs with claims that they perpetuate terrorism.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations conducted a study just after the attack to establish the safety of Muslim Americans in the country and found out that there was an increase of about 1700 hate crimes directed towards Arabs and Muslims in general. The American government framed the issue to suggest that Islamic religion was to blame for the loss of several lives and destruction of property, which resulted in an increase of depressing stereotyping. Muslim immigrants faced several problems in various parts of the world just after the attack since people had negative attitudes towards them.

Since the attack took place, there has been an increase in the rates of racial discrimination and religious animosity towards people from the Middle East, Muslims in general, and any other persons resembling citizens from the Arab world. Members of other cultures view Muslims with condescension fearing that they might be attacked anytime, yet the reality is many Arabs are peaceful people who do not have the capacity to harm anyone. The American government and its western allies did not take into consideration the reality that terrorism is a global issue perpetuated by various groups with differing demands. It is surprising to note that even countries that do not allow Islamic religion face the terrorist threat. Many Arabs suffer from low self-esteem since they always live under the fear of potential hatred and disgust from people of other cultures and races (Sheridan 322).

Society should understand that Islam is a global religion just as any other and it has no relationship with race since any person can perhaps be a member. Unfortunately, the Islamic religion has often been labeled as an institution that supports criminal activities and is mainly associated with certain race, which has led to religious discrimination. A majority of Americans and some Europeans view Islam as a monolithic group, which is a minority race in the country whose members act and behave in the same way. This view is misplaced because human behavior will never be homogenous because even a father cannot pass his behavior to the child. An individual’s behavior is acquired through the process of socialization and the modern agents are the school, the family, the media, and the polity. In fact, many terrorists rely on the media for critical information on how to conduct their activities.

Psychology researchers have been engaging in research to establish whether non-Muslims develop some form of phobia towards those practicing Islam as their religion. In a study conducted in Europe, Sheridan noted that discrimination against Arabs and Muslims increased tremendously after the 9/11 attack. The continuing discrimination against Muslims with claims that they are supportive of terrorism is just another form of racial discrimination. Racism has been the problem facing mainly the blacks in the United States, as well as Europe, but the Arabs are the victims currently.

Before the 9/11 attack, studies show that discrimination against Muslims and Arabs was ongoing, but the 9/11 incident worsened the situation since racists had all the reasons to discriminate other groups in society. As Giger and Davidhizar observe, the western media has always portrayed Islamic religion as the most violent, intolerant, and unsupportive of human rights (Giger and Davidhizar 78). The American government should have considered doing something after the attack because this type of discrimination has an impact on the country’s economy, as well social welfare.

Following the September attack, Muslims were never allowed a chance to exercise their democratic rights, including the right to religion. For instance, six Islamic religious leaders were told to alight from the US airliner when they engaged in a prayer before the plane took off since they were suspected of planning terrorist activities, which was never true. The police and other security agencies request travelers to be cautious of people wearing Islamic garments around them since they might be working with terrorists. Whenever a Muslim or an Arab for that matter engages in a behavior that is uncommon in the American society, such an act is considered unusual and people are requested to report to the nearest security agency. After the attack, the US Department of Homeland Security urged citizens to be extra vigilant, take note of anything new in the environment, and liaise with the police in case suspected items are spotted anywhere (Abu-Ras and Suarez 46).

Unfortunately, the whites were never screened whenever they entered public places, such as pubs and restaurants because they are believed to be superior to an extent that they cannot engage in terrorism. This governmental policy paved way for the security agencies to harass Muslims and Arabs leading to the development of unpopular policies that allowed the security agents to keep the record of all Arabs in society.

In this case, Muslims and Arabs were expected to reveal their identities whenever they visited public places, which interfered with their freedom of association and movement. Since then, Muslims, Arabs, and any other group wearing Islamic garments have been the victims of threats whereby their businesses have been vandalized and some have lost their properties and lives through arson. In some states, they were lynched, yet the local authorities did nothing to avert the situation. Just after the attack, many Americans resorted to road transport since terrorism was believed to take place in airports.

The attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon led to the creation of the department of homeland security, which has become a big threat to the survival of Muslims and Arabs in the country. Both political parties in the US rallied behind the president by sanctioning an attack on Afghanistan, something proving that people were simply responding to unsubstantiated claims even after several reports suggested that the Arab world and the Islamic religion was not supportive of terrorism. Consequently, the PATRIOT Act received an overwhelming support even though experts faulted it owing to the fact that it encouraged discrimination of certain races.

Currently, American citizens disapprove the war in Iraq and Afghanistan because they have realized that there was something more than fighting terrorism in the Middle East. The American media is not left behind because artistes have produced several films showing how Muslims and Arabs are heartless to an extent of killing children to achieve their selfish interests. However, a number of film and video production firms realized that the government was being unjust to certain races and went on to produce materials that opposed the war on terrorism terming it as way of discriminating the minorities. Unfortunately, such materials were never allowed to reach the members of the public since censorship policy was instituted barring all media stations form playing any song opposing the war or showing the movies that criticized the war on terrorism.

Works Cited

Abu-Ras, Walters, and Suarez, Zed. “Muslim men and women’s perception of discrimination, hate crimes, and PTSD symptoms post 9/11.” Traumatology 15.1 (2009): 48 –63. Print.

Giger, Jacob, and Davidhizar, Reid. “Culturally competent care: Emphasis on understanding the people of Afghanistan, Afghanistan Americans, and Islamic culture and religion.” International Nursing Review 49.2 (2002): 79–86. Print.

Saroglou, Victor, and Galand, Jerome. “Identities, values, and religion: A study among Muslim, other immigrant, and native Belgian young adults after the 9/11 attacks.” Identity 4.2 (2004): 97–132. Print.

Sheridan, Phil. “Islamophobia Pre-and Post-September 11, 2001.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 21.3 (2006): 317–336. Print.