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The War on Terror and Islamophobia Blog 11/9

In Zinn’s chapter, “The 2000 Election and the ‘War on Terrorism’” he discusses the U.S government’s reactions to the 9/11 attacks and describes fundamental changes to American foreign policy that could be the change needed in the War on Terrorism. I thought an interesting point was that it has been clear throughout history that violence could not defeat terrorism, but the U.S decided to do that anyways. The common theme throughout many of these historical events was present here too, the government went to great lengths to control the flow of media showing the horrific effects of their bombings. Zinn brought up the question that perhaps if the U.S changed their foreign policies to create more peaceful relations with other countries, then who would hate us and want to hurt us? I thought this was a very powerful moral question that addresses the power hungry attitudes of America in the global community. This seems like an easy solution that comes with large consequences and sacrifices that many would be hesitant to give up. 

Mariam Elba’s article about Islamophobia describes how this has been a part of the U.S legal system and culture. I was surprised that from 1790 to 1952, the Naturalization Act required whiteness as a condition for citizenship. An immigrant had to prove that they were white in order to be considered for citizenship. I thought it was interesting to look at the different views among the Presidents. Bush created a good Muslim versus bad Muslim attitude. Obama had positive rhetoric toward Muslims, but his policies differed from these ideas. Trump believes that all Muslims are bad. These extremely prevalent leadership roles reflect and influence the beliefs of the U.S as a whole. They are endorsing negative stereotypes that have been entrenched in society for many years. How will we be able to defeat these stereotypes and disconnect the Muslim identity with terrorism?

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2 Comments

  1. Julia Borger Julia Borger

    I also found it very interesting how each president had a different viewpoint on the conflict with Muslims and the Middle East, and it makes me wonder how Biden will continue to view the conflict as well as presidents in the future, and if some Americans will have a change in their perspectives as well with a new president.

  2. Kayla O'Connell Kayla O'Connell

    Since the Vietnam War, the government has gone to great lengths to control what is being said in the media. Therefore, the American public is unable to receive the freedom of journalism that was once present in the Vietnam War. If the government had not censored the information being broadcasted about the War on Terror, I wonder how different the American public would have thought about the war. Would we have been so patriotic if we knew how much harm we were putting on innocent civilians?

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