Were We Really Brought Together?

Erick Gutierrez

Sep 27, 2021

Some people claim that the 9/11 attacks brought us all closer, but, unfortunately, it has not been experienced that way by everyone.

On September 11th, 2001 a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks were launched on the World Trade Center. Four commercial aircraft were hijacked by extremist terrorists operating in al-Qaeda. Two of those planes crashed into the Twin Towers while the other struck the Pentagon. The final plane crashed into a field 20 minutes away from Washington, D.C. following resistance from the flight passengers. The attacks left 2,977 people dead.

Some people claim that the 9/11 attacks brought us all closer, but, unfortunately, it has not been experienced that way by everyone.

Islamophobia had always been a big problem in the United States, and, after the 9/11 attacks, the number of anti-Islamic hate crimes skyrocketed. According to the FBI, the number of hate crimes against Muslims rose an astonishing 1617% from 2000 to 2001. Although for the years after that the number of crimes decreased and fluctuated, the damage had already been done. The United States was no longer a safe space for Muslims.

Bias against Muslims did not start with 9/11, but it certainly added fuel to the fire. It has been reported that hate crimes toward the Muslim population dramatically increases after occurrances of overseas terrorist attacks.

There are countless stories of Muslim people experiencing bias on everyday levels. In 2001, only a couple of weeks after the 9/11 attacks, a 10-year-old girl named Shahana Hanif and her younger sister experienced what it was like to be in the midst of this Muslim bias. As they were walking, a car passed by and the driver rolled down his window. He yelled the word “Terrorist!” These two little girls were subjected to this hate crime because they were wearing hijabs.

Another man, Ishaq Pathan, Recalls being pulled aside at the airport and having his belongings looked through. He states that he remembers the agent looking through his belongings, looking through his laptop, and reading through his journal. The utter helplessness that he reported experiencing was beyond anything that would normally be considered truly acceptable.

The number of Muslim hate crimes in the United States fluctuates dramatically, and as of 2016, these crimes have become much more frequent. There is no mystery to this phenomenon. There is a large bias against Muslims in this country, and I believe that 9/11 is what contributed significantly to people being more racist toward Muslims.