9/11 and The occurance of Racism


With the tragic events of September 11, 2001, a fundamental landmark in American history was destroyed. Along with this people developed and placed a harsh view on the ethnic Muslim population.Alsultany, E. (2013) discusses this issue and uses the portrayal of Muslims in the media post 9/11 and how their representation has changed since the tragic event. Individuals worldwide thrive on the mass media’s dramatized plots which saw “Hate crimes, workplace discrimination, bias incidents and airline discrimination targeting Arab and Muslim Americans increase exponentially”. Alsultany, E. (2013).

The NBC news asked readers tell how their lives were changed by Sept. 11 and its aftermath. Here, in their own words, are some of their stories, the results are shocking;

Michelle Zaniewski Singh MD Age: 55 Hometown: Houston, Texas
My husband is a wonderful man, a Sikh and a physician. He wears a turban. After 9/11 we were afraid to go to work. Some cars followed us. Children yelled “Osama Bin Laden” at us.

Name: Robin Burns Age: 58 Hometown: Pensacola, Fla.
My business offering beautiful ethnic clothing and patterns for Indian sari suits was growing in 2001. On Sept 12, I had a lunch appointment in Pensacola and wore one of my favorite ensembles. The lunch crowd bristled at my appearance and sales on my website dropped to nearly zero.
I’ve had to refocus my business, which has never recovered, and have stopped importing goods from overseas. The mood seems to be a little more accepting now, 5 years later, but I doubt I will ever be able to establish the business I had planned.
Crises involving ethnic groups of any type create a negative response to ethnic goods of all types-people don’t think, they just react and as a result the world is much less beautiful.

The way the media has covered this event in history, had and will forever impact the Muslims in their everyday life they are living in fear from the judgments made to them.
Evelyn Alsultany, in ‘Arabs and Muslims in the Media after 9/11’ (2013) introduces a really interesting view on the issue, actually stating that entertainment media in the US are actually portraying a sympathetic view of the Muslim religion, as well as negative terrorism stereotypes, in what she believes to be a counteractive measure.

Alsultany (2013) discusses in her article the ways in which America, in particular Hollywood, have taken to portraying Arabs and Muslims since 9/11. She explains how often when an Arab or Muslim is represented as a terrorist; the story will include a ‘positive’ representation to “offset the negative depiction (p.161)”. This balance has, according to Alsultany (2013, p162), become essential to creating the image of the United States as benevolent. In fact Alsultany (2013, p165) even mentions that it has become increasingly common for the country of origin for many terrorist characters to go unmentioned, as a way to decrease the potential for people to take offense.
I think it is wrong to make prediction about people ethnic backgrounds and to ethnically stereotype them to a specific view based on what you have read and seen on TV news programs, it is easy to blame one person for something and the media places these notion in motion to society.No one deserves to be punished this way and be penalized because of where they come from.


Alsultany, E. (2013). ‘Arabs and Muslims in the Media after 9/11: Representational Strategies for a “Postrace” Era’. American Quarterly, Vol. 65 No. 1. [Accessed 6 May 2014]. Available from: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/american_quarterly/v065/65.1.alsultany.html

NBC News, ‘Scorched by the scourage of post-9/11 racism’, http://www.nbcnews.com/id/14587965/ns/us_news-9_11_five_years_later/t/scorched-scourge-post–racism/


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