Permeating Islamophobia after 9/11


By Sreyashi Mazumdar

Despite traversing through a prolonged period of 14 years after the draconian 9/11 attack, Islamophobia continues to haunt America. The smitten cries of the episodic barbarity still reverberates the fright and hatred dwelling in the minds of a millions of Americans. One might ponder that the anti-Muslim feeling might have lost its grounds; however, reality refutes the aforesaid plausible denudation. With ISIS resorting to barbaric means and Boko Haram attacks consolidating its foot, the anti-Muslim attitude has taken a more concrete shape.

According to an ABC poll in October 2001, the percentage of Americans bearing a pro-Muslim attitude was around 47℅ that had plummeted by 2011 to 37%. The percentage had further hit a downward trend in 2013; statistical records said only a meagre 27 ℅ of the population bore a pro-Muslim perspective.

A report in the Huffington Post states that the growing Muslim antagonism was owing to the brutality fleshed out by Muslim fanaticism in the form of Boko Haram killings or rising ISIS terror in Iraq and Syria. Further, media portrayal of the Muslims in a way add on to the seething anti-Muslim fervor. Hollywood considered as the powerhouse of entertainment in the world doesn’t portray a hunky dory picture of Muslims. For instance movies like The Wind And The Lion, Under Siege, Wanted: Dead or Alive, True Lies, and American Sniper are some of the movies that have overtly vilified Muslims and Arabs; such movies in a way add on to the anti-Muslim fervor.

I am going to go out and shoot some towel heads. These were the words of a patriot or rather a rabid indoctrinated with anti-Muslim emotions residing in the world’s oldest democratic nation. The patriot mistook a Sikh man for a Muslim and murdered him, giving into his hatred for Muslims. This might be one of the million episodes essaying anti-Muslim outlook borne by Americans.

Moreover, the Republicans’ overt criticism of the Muslim community sanctions Muslim hatred or Islamophobia. Trailing through the pages of past, one might still remember the Oklahoma state representative’s post John Bennett who wrote on his official Facebook page and it read: Christians should be wary of Muslim Americans because they are planning to kill Christians; such brazenness explicated by a political leader renders a sanction to the pervading Muslim antagonism.

Though the epiphany projected by 9/11 has lost its grounds, Islamophobia seem to have strengthened over a period of time owing to popular culture projected by movies and terror attacks by groups like Boko Haram and ISIS. It’s high time when the intellectuals should give up their plush couches and undertake the responsibility of nullifying the growing anti-Muslim feeling by educating the citizenry on ground reality.