9/11: A Grim Time for Muslims


Hundreds of people rally in Minnesota in late 2016 to protest against hate speech and discrimination against Muslims in America. Source: Wikipedia Commons

Alizah Hashmi, In-Depth Writer

September 11th, 2001. Shockwaves of grief and pain were felt nationwide. Four planes were targeted at three major locations on the east coast, which would change the face of America forever. This senseless attack made citizens lose their sense of security within their homeland.


This great loss and destruction bought communities and distraught people together. People found solace in the fact that they were able to relate their sadness and grief to the feelings of others. Americans began to support one another and made sure no one was left behind. However, this compassion was not shared completely with another community in America: the Muslims.


As was known, Al-Qaeda, a Muslim extremist group, was the party behind the earth-shattering 9/11 attacks. The name of the ring leader, Osama Bin Laden, was in the spotlight. His group’s actions cast a dismal shadow of distrust and hatred against all Muslims. Each Muslim was put under the same category as Bin Laden and blamed for 9/11. Almost all the Muslims involved lacked familial connection with Al-Qaeda members; despite this, they were held under the same category as a terrorist. This is the point where permanent prejudice was placed against those who identify their religion as Islam. 


Islamophobia was at its peak as Muslims were blamed for the country’s great loss. Mosques were broken into and left in disarray. The ACLU further explains that the exteriors were vandalized by hateful speech. Individuals who ‘looked Muslim’ were attacked on the streets and were refused services by several businesses. Their homes were targeted by angry, grieving mobs to get some ‘revenge’ for what was done to them. Even 21 years later, there has been little change in the attitudes of many Americans.

Children of Muslim couples were not saved from any prejudice. Many American parents had instilled who they perceived as the common enemy into their offspring. According to CFR, schools across America became a toxic environment for Muslim students as they were constantly berated and degraded for their “roles” in the 9/11 attacks. The mental impact upon these kids was grave, since they could not turn at any avenue without carrying the burden of the perished souls in the attacks. 


Muslims were discriminated against and excluded in all aspects of society because of their religion. Though the U.S. Constitution prevents any bias based on racial and religious grounds, the shockwaves felt after the September 11th attacks led to the complete dismissal of this vital act. 


Though various communities in America came together with the common grief harnessing them, the severity of the 9/11 disaster brewed a long-lasting period of hatred and exclusion of the Muslim population in the country. These individuals were judged based on their religion and blamed for one of the most horrendous attacks in U.S. history. America healed on the foundation of togetherness and hostility towards an innocent clique.