On September 11, 2001, nineteen hijackers took control of four passenger jets departing from U.S. airports. Two of those planes collided with the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York, the third plane hit the Pentagon, and the remaining plane was redirected and crashed in an empty field. Altogether, nearly 3,000 people died, and the blame was immediately placed upon the Islamist terrorist group Al-Qaeda. (http://timeline.national911memorial.org) Islamophobia is an “extreme or irrational fear and prejudice towards all Islamic persons” (islamophobia.org), resulting from attitudes that incorporate beliefs that Islam is a violent religion that supports terrorism (crg.berkeley.edu). Although the term was first used decades before 9/11, the concept became popularized in the U.S. after the terrorist attacks.
This paper will explore how Muslims were affected after the attacks through an ethical lens by analyzing the perspectives of both the victimizers and the victims.
Discrimination Against Muslims
In a recent report made by Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, results showed that Islam is the most negatively viewed religion among Americans. Over 40% of people surveyed said to feel at least slightly prejudiced toward Muslims. (www.gallup.com) Before 2001, Anti-Islamic hate crimes were the second least reported among all religions. After the attacks, however, they became the second most reported incidents; the number of victims rose form 36 in 2000 to 554 in 2001. (“Hate Crimes Statistics”). Islamophobia is not exclusive to America. Muslims in countries all over the world experienced backlash after the attacks on the World Trade Center. Anti-Muslim hate crimes have been recorded in countries all over Europe like Britain, France, and Belgium. (AlJazeera.com).
Violence in the Quran
Some anti-Muslim advocates believe that the Quran endorses violence against unbelievers. This is...