Life After 9/11: Muslims
in America
By Elaina Jones
Remembering 9/11
New York City, New York
September 11, 2001
8:17 am
New York City, New York
September 11, 2001
9:52 am
The Terror
The Fear
The Confusion
Muslims Before 9/11
Maintained a relatively low profile.
Muslims from around the world created tight-knit
communities upon coming to America where they
were able to live and worship.
The most populated Muslim cities in the United
States are Detroit, Los Angeles, and Houston.
Muslims After 9/11
Attracted a surge of unwanted
Viewed with racial hostility
and subjected to
American tendency to lump
people of different religions
and cultures into one group.
Slightly more than one-third (35 percent) of Muslims in America are native-born.
“American creed of fairness was now supposed to
mean that we ought to be judged not by our religion,
gender, color, or country of origin but simply by the
content of our individual characters”
-Moustafa Bayoumi
The Result?
Misleading stereotypes
In 2006, Borat was released into
About a journalist from Kazakhstan
that travels to America.
Along with refusing to board a plane
after the 9/11 attacks, which he
believes were the work of the Jews,
Borat also pokes fun at conservative
Middle East customs such as
arranged marriages, the war in Iraq,
and terrorism.
Bobby Rowe: Of course every picture that we get back
form the terrorist or anything else; the Muslims, they look
like you. Black hair and a black mustache.
Borat: Yeah.
Bobby Rowe: So we shave that dadgum mustache off,
so you’re not so conspicuous, so you look like maybe an
Italian. Or somethin’.
Borat: Yes.
Bobby Rowe: As far as people lookin’ at ya. I see a lot of
people and think “there’s a dadgum Muslim, I wonder
what kind of bomb he’s got trapped to him.
Adversely affect the way minority groups are viewed.
The media’s role of negatively portraying the Muslim
People develop an inaccurate perceotion of the Muslims culture
and religion.
Author John Tehrranian explains, “Middle Easterners have been
irretrievably associated with Islam; they appear to hail from a
decidedly unfriendly foreign land imagined to contain nothing
but terrorists, obstreperous mobs chanting “Death to America”
Hate crimes are a prevalent part of our society.
The safety of Muslims in American since the attacks of 9/11 has
decreased significantly.
In the first nine weeks after the attacks, the American-Arab
Discrimination Committe reported over 700 violent incidents
targeting Muslim Americans (Louise Cainkar).
In 2003 Cook County State’s Attorney Richard Devine reported that a 39 year
old white suburban man approached a gas station attendee in Illinois. He
asked the man what he was. The man said that he was “American” but the
offender did not like the answer. He said again “No, where are you from?”.
The worker said that he was from Moroccan decent, which angered the
offender. The man was then attacked with a two-foot long machete. The
perpetrator told the police he had just heard a news story on the radio about
terrorism and lashed out at the first Muslim looking man he saw (Cainkar,
“There are many people that have never [met] a
Muslim or learned anything about Islam, and
the only thing they know about Islam is that
terrorists attacked the United States and did so
in the name of Islam”
-Melissa Rogers
Undermine the core values of America.
The Muslim community is rapidly expanding in
the United States.
“Christianity is in its dying days. Globally the
faith of the future must be Islam”(401).
“Through the incrase in migratory and
population flows, more and more Muslims are
living in societies that are not Muslim” -Olivier
Muslim Legal Fund of
Everyone has the right to equal opportunities in life despite cultural and
religious background. This includes the right to legal representation.
These prejudices often lead to the unfair treatment of Muslims at work,
school, public places, and through the legal system (MLFA).
The Muslim Legal Fund of America is a non-profit organization that was
established in 2001. They defend and support Muslim Americans in legal
cases and put on events that educate others about Muslims.
This organization has raised millions of dollars to protect the rights of
Muslims and aim to promote legal equality in America.
Strive to inform the public about the importance of the issues that Muslims
The Muslim Legal Fund of America is an organization that “supports cases
and coalition efforts that seek to protect the process of law, the right to habeas
corpus, religious freedom, prisoner rights, and other fundamental legal issues
that go to the heart of our society's values. While the defendants or plaintiffs
may be Muslim, the outcomes of these cases impact the civil rights and rule of
law for all Americans” (MLFA).
The Muslim Legal Fund of America has built alliances with numerous
organizations also dedicated to protecting the rights of Muslim
Americans and educating the public about these types of inequalities.
The National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms is one of the seven civil
rights groups that the MLFA supports.
The support and education that these two organizations have taken an
oath to provide will change the future of America and the Muslim
community within it.
Works Cited
Abraham, Sameer Y., and Nabeel Abraham. Arabs in the New World: Studies on Arab-American Communities.
Detroit, MI: Wayne State University, Center for Urban Studies, 1983. Print.
Suleiman, Michael W. Arabs in America: Building a New Future. Philadelphia: Temple UP, 1999. Print.
Bayoumi, Moustafa. How Does It Feel to Be a Problem: Being Young and Arab in America. New York City: Penguin,
2008. Print.
"Muslim Legal Fund of America." Muslim Legal Fund of America. Web. 15 May 2012. <>.
Greenhouse, Steven. "Muslims Report Rising Discrimination at Work." The New York Times. The New York Times,
22 Sept. 2010. Web. 15 May 2012. <>.
Cainkar, Louise. Homeland Insecurity: The Arab American and Muslim American Experience after 9/11. New York:
Russell Sage Foundation, 2009. Print.
"Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan." IMDb. Web. 6
May 2012. <>.
Roy, Oliver. "Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah." The Globalization Reader. 4th ed. John Wiley &
Sons, 2012. 396-400. Print.
Jenkins, Philip. "The Christian Revolution." The Globalization Reader. 4th ed. John Wiley & Sons, 2012. 401-07.