Essay on Post 9/11 Racial Profiling of Muslim Americans

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For a second, the U.S. stood still. Looking up at the towers, one can only imagine the calm before the storm in the moment when thousands of pounds of steel went hurdling into its once smooth, glassy frame. People ran around screaming and rubble fell as the massive metal structure folded in on itself like an accordion. Wounded and limping from the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, America carried on, not without anger and fear against a group of innocent Americans, Muslim Americans. Nietzsche’s error of imaginary cause is present in the treatment of Muslim Americans since 9/11 through prejudice in the media, disregard of Muslim civil liberties, racial profiling, violence, disrespect, and the lack of truthful public information about Islam. In this case, the imaginary cause against Muslims is terrorism. The wound has healed in the heart of the U.S. but the aching throb of terrorism continues to distress citizens every day.
Movies, one can argue, are one of America’s greatest pastimes. Unfortunately, after 9/11, films have become increasingly prejudiced against American Muslims. In movies Muslims are frequently portrayed negatively. According to James Emery, a professor of Anthropology, Hollywood profits off of “casting individuals associated with specific negative stereotypes”. This is due to the fact that viewers automatically link characters with their clichéd images (Emery). For Muslims, the clichéd image is of the violent fundamentalist, who carried out the terroristic attacks on 9/11. As a result, the main stereotypes involved in movies display Muslims as extremists, villains, thieves, and desert nomads. An example of a movie that has such a negative character role for Muslims in film is Disney’s cartoon Aladdin, depict...

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...b. 10 May 2011.

Emery, James. "Arab culture and Muslim stereotypes." World and I May 2008. Expanded Academic
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"Hate-Crime Laws." Issues & Controversies On File: n. pag. Issues & Controversies. Facts On File News
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"Hate Crimes up in Wake of Terrorist Attacks." Cable News Newtwork, 16 Sept. 2001.
Web. 16 May 2011.

"Islamophobia." CAIR. Web. 5 May 2011.

"Race and Ethnicity in Entertainment." Issues & Controversies On File: n. pag. Issues & Controversies.
Facts On File News Services, 24 Aug. 2007. Web. 10 May 2011.

Sarfraz, Ayaman. Personal Interview. January 2010.

Shabbir, Mohammad. Personal Interview. 14 May 2011.

Ward, Lucy. "Muslims Get Angry at 'Bad Guy' Film Images." The Guardian, 25 Jan.
2007. Web. 12 May 2011.

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