Post 9/11 Racial Profiling Of Muslim Americans

2615 words - 10 pages

For a second, the U.S. stood still. Looking up at the towers, one can only imagine the calm before the storm in the moment when thousands of pounds of steel went hurdling into its once smooth, glassy frame. People ran around screaming and rubble fell as the massive metal structure folded in on itself like an accordion. Wounded and limping from the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, America carried on, not without anger and fear against a group of innocent Americans, Muslim Americans. Nietzsche’s error of imaginary cause is present in the treatment of Muslim Americans since 9/11 through prejudice in the media, disregard of Muslim civil liberties, racial profiling, violence, disrespect, and the lack of truthful public information about Islam. In this case, the imaginary cause against Muslims is terrorism. The wound has healed in the heart of the U.S. but the aching throb of terrorism continues to distress citizens every day.
Movies, one can argue, are one of America’s greatest pastimes. Unfortunately, after 9/11, films have become increasingly prejudiced against American Muslims. In movies Muslims are frequently portrayed negatively. According to James Emery, a professor of Anthropology, Hollywood profits off of “casting individuals associated with specific negative stereotypes”. This is due to the fact that viewers automatically link characters with their clichéd images (Emery). For Muslims, the clichéd image is of the violent fundamentalist, who carried out the terroristic attacks on 9/11. As a result, the main stereotypes involved in movies display Muslims as extremists, villains, thieves, and desert nomads. An example of a movie that has such a negative character role for Muslims in film is Disney’s cartoon Aladdin, depicted in ancient Arabia. Aladdin wrongly represents the Arab, a figure tied closely to Muslims, as a simplistic coldblooded marauder (Ward). By continually representing the Muslim or the Arab as the heartless villain, even cartoon movies contain a biased perspective against the Muslim image in America. All that glitters is not gold, and this is true for films fresh off the reels of Hollywood, as some contain an unfair perspective of Muslims.
Today one does not even have to wait for a movie to be released. Simply click the “ON” button on a remote and suddenly, thousands of news and television shows are available for one to enjoy. Muslims are also the target of prejudice in these news broadcasts and programs. One such television program released was a drama titled “24.” Issues and Controversies reports: “The show, which deals with a counterterrorism unit based in Los Angeles, featured a group of Muslim terrorist characters who were plotting to detonate nuclear weapons in the U.S. At the end of one episode, the terrorists successfully detonated a small bomb in a Los Angeles suburb, killing about 12,000 people” (“Race and Ethnicity in Entertainment”). This fictional show wrongly spreads the stereotypical image of Muslims and...

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