Change of Perception after the September 11 Attacks

Topics: Racism, Nazi Germany, Eugenics Pages: 6 (2062 words) Published: March 19, 2011
After the September 11 attacks on the world trade center, the world’s perception of the Middle East and Muslims drastically changed. For individuals previously exposed to Islamophobic ideologies, these attacks reinforced them. On the other hand, these attacks exposed and established negative stereotypes about Islam within other individuals for the first time. Anti-Muslim sentiment increased drastically post 9/11; which in turn led to the advancement of abuses towards Muslims. These abuses were through the systematic implementation of political policies, along with independently instigated discrimination of society. The victimization of individuals who adhere to a particular religion is not a modern phenomenon. The Nazi regime personifies the religious discrimination phenomenon, through the prosecution of Jews. We find that there are many similarities between the anti-Semitic movement endorsed by the Nazi Germany, to that of the Islamophobic movement seen in western countries post September 11. The later of the two movements focuses on the maintenance of an unpolluted, homogeneous western culture, whereas, the former focused on the maintenance of an unpolluted, homogeneous western race. This essay will argue that modern ideas of cultural purity are in fact the evolution of the long-established ideas of racial purity. This essay will explore this evolution while looking specifically at the current prosecution of Muslims, in order to maintain cultural purity, moreover comparing it to historical prosecution of Jews, in order to maintain racial purity. This essay will begin by addressing theoretical sociological concepts along with establishing several key terms and concepts important to the understanding of these arguments. This essay will then present a brief historical overview. In Goldberg’s (2002) The Racial State the theoretical sociological concepts of naturalism and historicism along with ideas of assimilation and amalgamation all explain the ideas of cultural purity and racial purity and the waves of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia that have gone through the West. The naturalist theory claims that the dominant race is chosen by the Divine, and that their rule is destined. The dominating race is then able to maintain control by claiming their blood has been made superior by God. The states that adhered to naturalism, such as Nazi Germany during the Holocaust, and American society in the 1800s, claimed the ruling authority are superiority because their race was the product of nature’s choice and that those races that were not selected by nature were inferior. Naturalists viewed that the dominate race would be made inferior if they associated or mixed with the lower races. Historicism, on the other, was not based on a chosen race however it is based on the historical domination of the ruling party. Historicists view that the ruling party is dominant, not because of blood, but rather that they gained superiority through the developments of history. Historicism is practiced by modern western countries towards Muslims. Unlike naturalists, historicists place different races in a hierarchy. In the United States, American Indians were seen as superior to Blacks because of the fact that they were deemed more able to assimilate. Assimilation of the native Indians was seen as removing any trace of native tendencies from them through education and reservations. If native tendencies were not removed completely from society, then the next measure would be amalgamation with the people. Amalgamation is defined as the inferior race mixing – either by marriage or labour and such. Naturalism is seen as the harsher of the two theories, because of its strict and audacious views on race. When looking at how naturalists and historicists view inferior races access to power, major differences are shown. Naturalism is staunch in their belief that the dominant race does not mix in any way with the inferior race, because it will lower their...

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