Muslim Americans portray on life after 9/11
Washington, DC On the morning of the 9/11 attacks, Hassan Sheikh was in his high school foreign studies class in Detroit, Michigan. Under The Prism: Muslim Americans portray on life after 9/11
After his teacher hurriedly wheeled a television into the classroom, he watched the second plane crash into the World Trade Center in New York City instead of taking the scheduled test.
Sheikh, now 34, says, “We were all just watching in shock.” “At the time, we couldn’t comprehend the gravity of the situation.”
Sheikh, a Muslim and the son of Pakistani immigrants, claims that it became evident to him the next day that the events of September 11, 2001, would drastically impact his experience as a Muslim in the United States.
He claims he lost friends, was bullied, and was the subject of explicitly racist remarks. Sheikh told Al Jazeera that while playing basketball, a guy on the opposing side branded him “a raghead terrorist Arab.” He claims the referee heard the remark but did nothing .Under The Prism: Muslim Americans portray on life after 9/11
Then, a year after the attacks, his mother, who wears a hijab, was approached by a guy who called her a terrorist and asked why she was wearing “something on her head” while on a family trip to Washington, DC.
Sheikh claims that he and his family have experienced a slew of such instances, and that they are far from alone. “Since 9/11, a lot has been lost,” he remarked.
Under The Prism: Muslim Americans portray on life after 9/11 .According to FBI statistics, hate crimes against Muslims in the United States increased dramatically after 9/11, rising from 28 instances in 2000 to 481 in 2001. Since then, anti-Muslim hate crimes have maintained at an all-time high, with the FBI reporting 219 instances in 2019.
“Hate and bigotry were intensified after 9/11,” said Sumayyah Waheed, a policy consultant with Muslim Advocates, a Washington, DC-based civil rights organization.
“All of a sudden, day-to-day living for American Muslims became a public spectacle, their faith was racialized, and all communities faced unprecedented scrutiny from American society.”
Following the attacks on the Pentagon and the Twin Towers in New York City, which killed over 3,000 people, the US government quickly increased security at airports and government facilities.
The Patriot Act, passed just 45 days later, made it easier for US law enforcement authorities to trace the activities of Americans suspected of terrorism as well as monitor their online and phone communications.
Asad Butt, 41, a media firm founder and podcast producer in Portland, Oregon, said he has devoted his career to tackling Muslim-American concerns and attempting to “create bridges” with mainstream American society.
He told how, just after the 9/11 attacks, his father, who had immigrated from Pakistan in the 1970s, placed an American flag outside their home in the hopes of shielding them from any assaults. Under The Prism: Muslim Americans portray on life after 9/11
all of us who were Muslims in the nation at the time had a target on our backs and we were vilified,” adding that Muslim Americans have been subjected to “small acts” of Islamophobia and racism, as well as government eavesdropping, for the past 20 years.
Under The Prism: Muslim Americans portray on life after 9/11 .Butt explained, “There is this sense that we aren’t as American as the next person, and we have to constantly prove that we are as American as our neighbours.” “When it comes down to it, we’re all the same.