Due to ignorance and the media’s stereotypes that Islam is a violent, outcast religion, some Americans today blame Islam for the emotional, physical and financial damage the terrorist attacks on 9/11 caused.
After 9/11, Western Media has been promoting to the American population the view Islam as an alien in society that is incapable of adapting to civilization. As a result, stereotypes have been formed and Muslims find themselves in a hole of misrepresentation. Due to these stereotypes, many people take actions discriminating against American Muslims.
The Stereotyping of Muslims has been the reoccurring, main focus of Western media. There are some Americans who use media as their only source of acquiring information. Therefore, the media had an immensely powerful influence over the general public’s response to the attacks of 9/11. The religion is in a deep hole of misrepresentation due to these stereotypes that portray Islam as the enemy. As a result of all this, the term “Islamophobia” is now very common. There are many ways to prove the negative correlation people make between Islam and 9/11 due to the influence of the media.
The picture below is just one way to prove the media’s influence on American’s opinions of Islam:
This man represents the section of Americans that are ignorantly judging Islam. This is why people like Jocelyne Cesari argue that Islam is in a predicament of misunderstanding and misjudgment due to history (Cesari 12). Because the attackers of 9/11 were Muslim, the whole religion has to suffer discrimination and stereotyping that is misplaced. People like the man in the picture above don’t take the time to actually learn about the values and principles of the religion. Rather, they use 9/11 as an excuse to blame and discriminate against Islam. This is just one example of the blame placed on Islam.
Another example is the controversy over building a mosque near ground zero . In CBS news article “Proposed Mosque Near Ground Zero Stokes Debate”, people against having a mosque near where the World Trade Center buildings used to be argue that it would be a “a stab to America”. How can they argue this point without admitting that they blame Islam for what happened at Ground Zero? Instead of embracing and viewing this as the Islam community trying to educate others about their religion, the United States makes it a huge controversy and many protest against it. The media’s role in stereotyping and misrepresenting Islam as the religion to blame for 9/11 has caused many Americans to take lash out against Muslims.
Eleven years after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, American Muslims are still the main target of stereotyping and discrimination. Hate speech makes it very difficult for Muslims to feel accepted and welcomed in the United States. For example, the picture posted below:
This bumper sticker is seemingly equating Islam with Nazism. The Nazis were one of the most despised and corrupted organizations existing in world history that many Nations including the United States regret tolerating. Relating Muslims to Nazi followers is a serious insult that I’m sure hurt and scarred many Muslims. However, according to The Washington Post’s article “Five Myths about Muslims in America”, in 2010 there were more non-Muslim than Muslims involved in terrorist pots on U.S. soil. Not only is there hate speech, there are hate crimes. Through the years, there have also been numerous hate crimes committed across the United States against Muslims. For example, in September of 2004, eight Muslim students in Berkeley, California were harassed by three Caucasian males that sprayed them with water, chucked water bottles at them, and mocked their tradition of wearing hijabs.
Overall, Western media has created stereotypes of Islam based on the terrorist attacks of 9/11 that have caused Islamophobia throughout the United States. In order to make a reasonable conclusion about anything, one needs to be properly educated—this does not include the media. All religions deserve the respect; Islam is no different. In order to mend the relationship between the United States and Islam, the United States needs to get rid of its “superior attitude” and be willing to compromise with the Middle East. Muslims all around the world deserve to be dug out of the hole of misrepresentation they have been unwillingly thrown into.
Beekun, Rafik. Islam= Nazism. 11 Nov. 2008. The Islamic Workplace. Web. 1 Nov. 2008.
Cesari, Jocelyne. Muslims in the West After 9/11: Religion, Politics, and Law. New York; London: Routledge, 2010. Print.
Glor, Jeff. “Proposed Mosque Near Ground Zero Stokes Debate” CBS News. 3 Aug. 2010. Web. 5 Nov. 2012. <http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/07/20/eveningnews/main6696724.shtml?tag=mncol;lst;1>
Hall, Anthony. Islamophobia. 20 May 2012. Photograph. Veterans Today. Web. Oct. 28 2012. <http://www.veteranstoday.com>.
Rauf, Feisal Abdul. “Five myths about Muslims in America” The Washington Post. Web. 5 Nov. 2012. < http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-muslims-in-america/2011/03/30/AFePWOIC_story_1.html>
RIDZ Design. Stereotypes of Islam. Photograph. Big Mouth Strikes Again. Web. Oct. 28 2012. < http://wallscometumblingdown.wordpress.com/home/>.
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