How did 9/11 affect American Muslims?

Question: How did 9/11 affect American Muslims?

Barrett: It certainly had a profound effect on Muslims in this country. It required them to, I think, think much more critically and seriously about their religion and their own involvement with the religion. What does the religion mean to them? Who tells them what the religion means? How ought the religion be explained to their neighbors, to non-Muslims? Did they have something to do with the terrorists who brought this tremendous devastation on the country? Was there any connection between the two of them? Or should they be entirely swearing off any connections – saying those people by definition aren’t Muslims because of what they did. And I can go into any of that in more detail that you’d like. But one, I think, very important and somewhat counterintuitive reaction was that for many Muslims, 9/11 actually suggested to them, if not for the very first time in a very pointed way, that they considered themselves to be Americans; and that they now needed to define or redefine themselves as Americans and figure out what their connections were to this country; to realize that their connections and their involvements in this country are coming to or already have transcended or eclipsed their connections to the old country; and figure out a way to be a Muslim here, but to live here. Because they discovered they needed in one way or another to basically declare themselves . . . not in a legal loyalty oath, although some were essentially required to do that when the FBI called them in and said, “Who are you? What are you about? What are your ideas?” But even people who had no direct connection to any of the investigations that followed 9/11, I think they felt the question in the air. “Who are you? What are your loyalties? How do you sort yourself out in light of the controversy that surrounds your religion?” And that prompted many people to say, “Well you know who I am? I’m an American.” And to dig in, and even to demand their rights to say that the FBI shouldn’t be doing this, and the FBI shouldn’t be doing that. And so in an interesting way, 9/11 could in the long run – barring unforeseen future events – actually be . . . could turn out to be the opening of a door that helps advance Muslim integration in this country. It’s very counterintuitive. But as I say come back in 50 years, and I think that question will still be worth looking at.

Recorded on: 12/4/07

Questioned about their identity in the aftermath of 9/11, many American Muslims answered "I am American."

Understand your own mind and goals via bullet journaling

Journaling can help you materialize your ambitions.

Videos
  • Organizing your thoughts can help you plan and achieve goals that might otherwise seen unobtainable.
  • The Bullet Journal method, in particular, can reduce clutter in your life by helping you visualize your future.
  • One way to view your journal might be less of a narrative and more of a timeline of decisions.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Pixabay
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less