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Islamophobia 11/11

In Mariam Elba’s interview of Khaled Beydoun, an incredible documentation of how the American public came to associate Islam with terrorism is recorded. I  didn’t know that many of the people captured in the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade were Muslim and as such I didn’t realize that the religion has been present in the United States for so long. As a white non-religious person in the United States, the only real education I have received about Islam has been in association with terrorism. The first case of the media using its influence to negatively impact the public’s view of Muslims was during the Iranian Hostage Crisis. Media coverage since the incident continued to create the association between violence and Islam. After 9/11 Islamophobic fear and hatred was at an all time high in America. Muslim Americans massively suffered in the aftermath of 9/11 and, just like throughout all of American history, the pressure to pass as white was present. Beydoun speaks about the “good Muslim/bad Muslim ” ideology that was created within American society. This way of thinking implies that only Muslims who wish to assimilate and move away from their Islamic roots deserve to be treated as good people. Conversely, Muslims who wish to maintain their cultural habits are viewed as dangerous and a threat.

The issue of how race and religion intersect is not something I have learned about extensively. Beydoun emphasizes that American culture explicitly groups black and Muslim people into two categories without giving much thought to the considerable overlap. Intersectionality seems to be a common theme throughout many of the topics we have covered, however, it hasn’t seemed to become common knowledge throughout the American public. President Trump has created a hateful environment where the spread of information about the dangers of Islamophobia is all but impossible. While former presidents have also engaged in Islamophobic policies, none of the recent presidents were so openly derogatory. Trump’s irresponsible statements and actions have put Islamic people at home and abroad in unnecessary danger and hopefully with him out of office things will improve.

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One Comment

  1. Charley Blount Charley Blount

    Beydoun did a great job of clarifying that neither Donald Trump nor 9/11 created Islamaphobia. I feel like this distinction is important because of how much worse the problem has gotten in the last twenty years. That said, I believe Islamaphobia has become more socially acceptable compared to other social faux pas in recent years

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