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Discrimination After 9/11 Essay

1742 words - 7 pages

On September 11, 2001, America was the victim of a brutal terrorist attack by members of the extremist group Al-Qaeda. That day will not only be remembered for the lives lost and the damage to the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, but for the changes it brought in the everyday American's lives and perceptions of people who are different, specifically those of Middle Eastern descent. Even now, almost 13 years later, we are still dealing with the discrimination against those of the Muslim faith and a loss of some basic freedoms Americans used to take for granted.
Today, the terms of “terrorist group” and “Muslamic faith” have been blurred together under one definition. The Al-Qaeda is a group of people who operate under an extreme and harsh interpretation of Sunni Muslim, something that Americans at the time of the attack, did not understand. This lack of understanding about the Muslim faith lead to the perception that all people of that faith were not to be trusted; and up to now, targeted. A better word to use would be racially profiled. This concept is not new to the American public, it dates as far back to when white settlers came to America and enslaved the Native Americans for labor in 1620. (Definition of Racial Profiling).
From September 2001, to the present, the public's perception of the Muslim faith has not changed, partly because of media propaganda and its inaccuracies. The Bush Administration coined the term “War On Terror”, for an example (Walsh, War on Terror). America now has the TSA monitoring terminals with full body scanners, and full body “pat downs” (Airport Screening). Tests like these have become an unnecessary hassle for most travelers, but a nightmare for anyone with middle eastern characteristics, something which violates constitutional rights (Airport Scanners and the Fourth Amendment).
A year ago, a friend recounted a story about her aunt. Who had boarded a plane to California with her husband. She noticed two rows of seats ahead of them were a group of four foreign men with accents she did not recognize. She started panicking because she thought they were from the Middle East, and in her mind, terrorists. She turned to her husband and with a shaky voice, “I think those men are terrorists!” her husband, who was in the military, laughed in response. The men were Russian. Since the 2001 attacks, the American people and government have been having a hard time not making assumptions based on others appearances. One example would be Hassan Shibly, a law graduate who was traveling with his wife and baby, who was detained for more than an hour and asked derogatory questions about his faith more than 20 times. He was raised in Buffalo, New York (Huus, Muslims Still Saddled with 9/11 Baggage).
Stereotyping has become a common practice since 9/11, officials are profiling people based on what they wear or where they come from to base their search for anything dangerous. The Hijab, a religious head garment frequently that...

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