9/11 Hate Crimes on Muslim Americans

Madison Ramey

   For the 20th anniversary of 9/11, many Muslim Americans braced themselves for a potential uptick in Islamic hate crimes and Islamophobia. Recently, in Austin, Texas, at the Islamic Center of Greater Austin, a bloody mask of a pig’s head was found outside the entrance, with a sign that read: “You are so unclean to God as a pig is to you.” 

     This situation is currently being investigated right now by the Austin Police Department’s Hate Crimes Review Committee. They are trying to determine if it’s just vandalism, or if another hate crime has been committed too. 

     “These kinds of crimes affect families, communities, and our entire nation,” Zainab Chaudry, a director with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told NBC Asian America. She says this to remind those that don’t experience or relate to these hate crimes, so they can have some idea as to how it feels to be victims of these terrible crimes. These hate crimes are not new whatsoever and have slowly become more brutal in the years since the 2001 terrorist attack. Many Muslims have experienced exponential discrimination since then.

     In 2020, Muslim Americans’ interest in politics declined simply because Trump was running for president. 

      “Some Muslims take off from work; others plan so they won’t have to leave home that day,” Chaudry said in reference to September 11th, “parents have confided they keep their children home from school, while many mosques step up security measures.” 

     It seems communities with higher populations of Muslim Americans are taking extra precautions to make sure that no one will be harmed in any sort of manner. Vandalism done at a mosque in Grand Blanc, Michigan on Saturday had led to calls from Muslim leaders to look into the situation as a potential hate crime. Fellow members of the Grand Blanc Islamic Center found the welcome sign defaced as well as lights that were smashed outside of the building. 

“Aicha Toure, a Black Muslim woman who wears a hijab, was allegedly assaulted and called a ‘Muslim terrorist’ on a Spirit Airlines flight from Atlanta to Detroit by a white female passenger.”, The Council on American and Islamic Relations said.       

     After Toure was recorded by the news network, she reported the incident to CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations). The white female passenger was then arrested in Wayne County for harassment on the flight where she harassed more than just Toure. In Maryland, CAIR had gotten more reports on harassment with racist comments by a white neighbor, and a Muslim child that was bullied before 9/11. 

     A statement from CAIR said the family of the young boy detailed an Islamophobic 9/11 lesson plan from the boy’s classroom teacher, during which the teacher asked the boy to tell the class who was really responsible for the attacks. These hate crimes can cause lasting mental impacts to the victims, and highlight the need for everyone’s need for a safe learning environment. Victims of these crimes should continue to come forward since it is important to try and stop these hate criminals as soon as possible.