Causes Of Psychological Trauma And Its Effects On Young Arab Americans Post 9/11

1075 words - 4 pages

According to the report of FBI(2000), the number of anti-islamic hate crime incidents prior the terrorist attacks were 28. In the immediate year after 9/11, 481 incidents were reported against the Muslims and Arabs(FBI 2002). The hate crime statistics of FBI conforms a staggering increase of 1617 percent in such a short period of time. The Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) reported that over 700 violent incidents were ruthlessly targeted against Arab Americans within the first 9 weeks after the 9/11(Ibish 2003). These incidents included physical violence, death threats, harassment, mockery ,hate mails and many others. Suddenly, an unknown society was brought into the negative spotlight due to the actions of a handful of people. Several cases of discrimination were being recorded increasingly. Government's actions such as detentions and deportations were immensely growing. The racial identity of a community was the main basis to direct the mass deportations. Muslims and Arab societies became the center of focus for the media to negatively stereotype(Hamza and Yaseen 2009).
Such activities tends to be associated to cause psychological trauma, mental illness and behavioral changes. The vast psychological effect of such activities was seen on the young Arab-Americans, including children.
Muslims and Arab American students have faced intense hate crimes in their schools. These hate crimes were reported from college to high school students and even children. According to the congress, hate crime is defined as, “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation”(FBI.gov). These hate crimes were targeted to students with Arabic names, on the basis of clothing or even through skin color. Using skin color to trigger these unlawful and illegal activities also caused many non-Muslim students to be vandalized. Students complained that their hijab(head covering worn by Muslim women) were snatched frequently. There were several reports of harassments, assaults and hate comments made to the students in their schools. Even the elementary school children, were accused for the terrorist attacks (Ibish 2003). In some cases, student refused going to school and rather asked to be home schooled. Many showed signs of fear, stress, tension, bed-witting and anger as reported by parents (Ibish 2003). Presently, the anti-islamic hate crimes have decreased in comparison to the following year of 9/11. But still 160 incidents of hateful activities against the Arabs and Muslims were reported, which still is 4.7 times more than 28 hate crime incidents recorded prior to 2001 (FBI 2010).
Many young Arab Americans were forced to work under hostile circumstances. Reports reveal that Muslims and Arab Americans were traumatized due to the discriminatory behaviors in the workplaces. According to Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), over 800 cases...

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