Some Americans today blame Islam for the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

The black and white portrait above displays a chalkboard, chalk, and an eraser. On this chalkboard appears to be a math equation, however, it is not 2+2=4; it is an equation calculating the damage and cause of 9/11. On the left of the board, there is a moon with a star that is being added to a drawing of two tall buildings. Under the moon and star, the word “Islam” is written. The two towers, which resemble the North and South towers of the World Trade Center, have the date 9/11 written underneath them.  The two images are added up to equal the number 2,996. This number has the word “murdered” written below it and represents the total casualties of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Underneath the chalkboard, the words “A Refresher Course For Those In Denial” are written.

The meaning of this picture is clear and simple. The artist’s message is that the religion of Islam is the dominant factor in the equation that left 2,996 dead. In an addition equation, you need at least two variables to have an answer. The picture is saying that without Islam, there would have been no 9/11, and therefore, those 2,996 victims of the attacks would still be alive and well today. The words underneath the chalkboard are referring to those who see Islam and 9/11 as two unrelated subjects. The drawing is an equation on a chalkboard to resemble a lesson being taught by a teacher. This lesson would typically be considered as an easy one because there are only two variables in the equation. By this, the artist is trying to say that people who think Islam is not the cause of 9/11 are clueless for not being able to grasp on to such an easy and clear concept. I think the picture is asking, “How could you not blame Islam for the deaths of 9/11? The equation is simple”. The words are trying to remind those who accept and support Islam of the pain and devastation that they think the religion has caused the American nation.

I titled this picture “Islamaphobia” because that is the term commonly used for those who avoid interaction with Islam and Muslims. Those with “Islamaphobia” are scared of the religion and its followers because they view them as terrorists and blame them for 9/11. It is the same anger and blame that produces Islamaphobia that also produces pictures such as this.

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One comment

  1. From your description, I think that an equation is an intriguing way to view a tragedy: in the case of the events on 9/11 there was clearly a cause and effect, addition of actions and an end result, but I never thought of the events on 9/11 as an equation. I think that placing the events that happened on 9/11 in a math equation is an extremely biased way to portray the disaster because a math equation is usually a universally accepted theory; so putting the events and actions of a particular group of people and setting it equal to the deaths of others is setting the viewer up to interpret and believe in the message without giving them a chance to form an opinion.

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