The September 11 2001 terrorist attack in America was a tragedy that caught US people and government unaware. The attack generated a lot of animosity among the Muslim community and Arabs that live in United States. The attack exemplified the rift that had for a long period of time been manifested between the two countries. The effects the attack caused on Muslim inhabitants are diverse as the paper shows.
According to Faisal and William, as per the report released by council of American-Islamic Relations, the level of discrimination complaints in US increased by 65% by the end of 2002 (5). In the year 2003 and 2004, the level of complaints hiked up by 70% and 49% respectively. These statistics demonstrate the magnitude and the impact of the attack on the people, especially the Muslims. American people viewed their Muslim counterpart as their enemies and therefore did not want to associate with them. This discrimination was evidenced in provision of employment opportunities and even in business. Discrimination was also witnessed in terms of trade. American cut-off trading links with most of the Arabs countries and this impacted negatively on most of the Arabs residing in US. In survey carried out in 2007 on 1050, Muslims that lived in US indicated that 53% of them agreed that it was difficult to be a Muslim- Americans since the terror struck (Faisal and William 6). Young Muslims aged between the age of 18-29 lived under suspicion because of the terror and fear of being suspected to be the likely perpetrators of terrorist activities by the American Government.
After the attack, most Muslims experienced high increase in civil rights violations. Most of the violation happened at their work place. The Muslim workers were looked down upon and discriminated because of their country of origin and religious affiliation. This down look de-motivated most of the Muslim workers at their places of work. Examples of isolations included, poor working conditions, unnecessary retrenchment, decrease in salaries, lack of promotions among many other work related problems.
Another effect the September 11 attack had on Muslims residing in America was that it resulted into fear and suspicion (Louise 34). Most of the Muslims lived with fear due to threats of deportation and discrimination. Therefore, this made many of them to live in silent without voicing their demands for fear of deportation or implication in the terrorist activities. This fear and anxiety among the Muslins was generated when the US government came up with various policies and legal responses that aimed at curbing future terrorist attacks. For instance, there was mass round –up of the Muslims and the Arab immigrants that began in 2002. Other programmes included special registration program that was initiated in 2002 but later abolished in 2003 (Leonard 21). Such programs aimed at reducing the risk of future terrorist attacks. The programs instilled fear and created isolations among the Muslim community in US.
Even though the attack may not have resulted in decreased employment rate of the Muslims in Us, it led to resulted to a reduction of between 14% to16% of real weekly earnings of Muslims aged between 21 and 54 years (Louise 34). The decrease in earnings resulted to some of the Muslims changing from their occupation and their industry occupations.
Another effect of the attack caused was a reduction in the level of internal mobility of the muslins that lived in US. This reduction may have been necessitated by the fear by many Muslims born from the attack and the stereotypes that had been leveled against them as being terrorists and furthering the missions of the terrorists groups. Therefore, they limited their movement to avoid negative perception by their American counterparts.
Aftermath of the terrorist attack affected mostly young Muslims immigrants (Angela 32). Most of them were obliged to work for short hours, their incomes were reduced and even some lost their employment. The most affected Muslims were those from terrorist known countries such as Iran, Afghanistan and Middle East. However, these stereotypes and effects only lasted for a short while since from 2004; the situation seemed to have changed (Davila and Mora 45).
Participation in the labor market by majority Muslim youths also decreased. This decrease was as a result of fear and discrimination that was experienced against the Muslims. The anti-terrorism programs and other laws that were initiated in 2002 also contributed to low participation in the labor market by most of the Muslim youths.
According to Louise, the launch of anti-terrorism initiatives and policies after the attack had profound negative implications to the Muslim and Arab community living in the US (7). The policies were drafted solely to fight and to target the Muslim community and especially the terrorists. For instance, in late October 2001, the visas of all non-immigrants applications of men of between the age of 18 and 45 was put on-hold and taken through a tight scrutiny (Faisal and William 8). This was done in an effort to eliminate all terror groups. The practice instilled fear and anxiety among the Muslim immigrants who viewed themselves as targets.
The attack also resulted to religious intolerance in US between the Christian and the Muslims. Since the terrorists who planned and executed the attack were Muslim insurgent with Islamic faith, this caused a lot of suspicion among Americas who hold different religious inclination-Christianity. The attack therefore, necessitated, people holding certain religious ideologies to come or group together against the others. The perception that it was the Muslims that were behind the attack, made it possible for Americans to seclude themselves from the Muslims who also fought to defend their religious ideologies and teachings. A good example of the religious intolerance and differences manifested when a Muslim group planned to build their Islamic community center and a mosque at Ground zero. Many Americans opposed the move and the location at which the mosque was to be built citing that Muslims were killers as they killed them through the terror attack on September 11, 2001(Faisal and William 13). This, therefore, demonstrates clearly, how the attack hurt American people. It led to hatred and negative attitude between the Muslims and Americans especially on grounds of their faith.
The terrorist act also affected most Muslims living in US as their religious ideologies and beliefs became under scrutiny. The mainstream US people viewed their religious teachings as improper since they felt that they agitated for bloodshed. The Muslims were subjected to tighter scrutiny making them live in fear and isolation because they were minority and every other Americans seemed to think that they were not fit to be in their midst (Faisal and William 14).
The attack caused fear, trauma to the Muslim community. The US relationship with radical Muslim countries was not good for a while and therefore, those immigrants from such countries such as Afghanistan, Iran lived in fear of their own live. The attack caused a lot of anger on the side of American government, which saw the number of security personnel increased, scrutiny increased, security warnings were all over in airports and in any public place due to a tough stance against terror. This kind of live was traumatizing and difficult to bear to most Muslims who were the central point of target.
The US September 11, 2001 terrorist attack indeed left a big mark on the American soil. The terror was one of its kind that saw US government put in place stringent measures to curb any future attacks. The Muslim immigrants in US were one of the most affected victims of the attack even though they were not directly or indirectly involved. The Muslims in US received highest level of criticism and stereotypes. They were discriminated in terms of employment, and general labor issues. There working hours and weekly wages were reduced, they lived in fear and anxiety and experienced a lot of religious discrimination. For instance, they were denied to build a mosque in the Ground zero because of their religious affiliations. It is therefore evident that, the attack that targeted US had several implications to the Muslims living in US. The legal responses and the government policies that were enacted such as “The special Registration” programs aimed at ensuring that all Muslims with bad intentions to cause terror was nested. Such programs not only isolated the Muslims but they made them to live in anxiety and fear in the US. The fact remains that, the attack did more injustice to the Muslim immigrants. It made their lives more difficult and troublesome. Regardless of the Muslims sufferings, to some level it is justified for the Us Government initiative to ensure that its country was safe and secure.
Angela, Rabasa. The Muslim world after 9/11. Rand Corporation: New York. 2011. Print.
Faisal, Rabby and William Rodgers. Post 9-11 U.S. Muslim Labor Market Outcomes. 2009. Web. 25 July 2012.
Davila Alberto and Mora Marie. Changes in the Earnings of Arab Men in the US Between 2000 and 2002. Journal of Population Economics, (2005) 18: 587-60. Print.
Kaestner, Robert, Kaushal Neeraj and Reimers Cordelia. Labor Market Effects of September 11th on Arab and Muslim Residents of the United States. The Journal of Human Resources, 42.2:(2007), 34-86. Print.
Leonard, Karen. Muslims in the United States. The State of Research. 2003. Print.
Louise, Cainkar. Post 9/11 domestic policies affecting U.S Arabs and Muslims: A brief Review. 2011. Web. 25 July 2012.