• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How much and in what ways has 9/11 influenced public perceptions and the self perceptions of Muslim communities in Western Europe and the United States?

Extracts from this document...


How much and in what ways has 9/11 influenced public perceptions and the self perceptions of Muslim communities in Western Europe and the United States? The term '9/11' refers to the series of suicide attacks which took place in the USA on September 11, 2001. Al-Qaeda hijacked four passenger planes, crashing two of them into the World Trade Centre in New York, one into the Pentagon while the fourth crashed into a field after passengers tried to retake control. The nineteen Hijackers were killed as well as over three thousand people, mostly civilians. The hijackers were followers of Osama Bin Laden, an exponent of a particularly militant sect of Islam. Following the 9/11 attacks, there was a knee jerk backlash against Muslims in the West. Although many Muslims had experienced suspicion, this worsened after the 9/11 outrage and 'living together' (Ramadan, 2004, p71) became more problematic. There became a perceived 'Islamic threat' (Ramadan, 2004, p84). Women were attacked for wearing the jihad, people were forbidden to board planes and all Muslims were viewed as potential terrorists. The West's 'war on terror' policy has led to thousands of people being detained without charge as well as causing delays in Muslim immigration. The civil liberties of thousands of Muslims have been compromised in the name of security. This has obviously caused fear and tension among Muslim communities in the West making them feel in 'a state of siege' (Ramadan, 2004, p173). ...read more.


is inclusive of long held traditions of many religions including Christianity and Judaism. The series of Cair posters (Islam in the West, 2007, fig 3.2) shows the media efforts in USA to show Muslims in a better light. George Bush made some attempt after 9/11 to counteract these views both with statements disassociating the American Muslim population from the terrorists and also by publicly visiting a mosque. The media has played a large part in enforcing some of the negative views of Muslim's in western societies. Some headlines are aggressive, highlighting possible tensions and fuelling the 'Islamaphobia' that appears to have developed since 9/11. Following the atrocities, we have seen more headlines such as 'Extreme youth: the Muslims who would swap British Law for Sharia' (The Times, 29 January 2007) which seek to place British Law and Sharia Law as polar opposites and to highlight the 'extreme' intention of the Muslim youth. It clearly discriminates against Muslims and infers that young Muslims have no intention of integrating into the British way of life. It insinuates that all Muslim 'youth' are fundamentalists who are against modern western culture. This type of reporting can only add to the Western Muslim's feeling of 'otherness' which Tariq Ramadan calls the 'identity crisis' (Ramadan in Herbert (ed), 2007a, Track 1) so causing a division rather than creating a melting pot of cultures within one new multicultural society. ...read more.


This has obviously affected the self-perceptions of Muslim Communities who have had to counter the adverse publicity for their religion and culture whilst living side by side with what may have become hostile communities. There has been, in some sectors more vocalisation of an anti-Islam feeling across both Europe and the USA since the tragedy of 9/11. The media in particular has stirred up anti-Islam feeling and continues to associate Muslims with violence rather than providing more positive images. Public opinion, often fuelled by media attention has had a considerable affect on Muslim communities in Western societies. The establishment of Schools and mosques in the West has been the matter of much public debate particularly because it signifies a permanence. This frightens many westerners as some of the bombers had been brought up and lived as part of Western societies. In Britain this has led to animosity and even violence. Much of this has been fuelled by the media and modern forms of communication such as the internet. However, the internet has also seen the emergence of what Cesari describes as the 'imagined' Western community which has enabled Muslims to maintain contact on a World wide scale. This again is a two-edged sword, again because many westerners fear that this may encourage terrorist organisations. However, there has also been co-operation between sections of society for example in the case of the expansion of the East London Mosque (Islam in the West, 2007, p142). This kind of co-operation is needed if both sides are to come together to live side by side without fear. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Religion in Society section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Religion in Society essays

  1. In modern Western societies, God is dead. Is this correct?

    Because of that, there is an ongoing discussion whether modern Western societies are already secular or maybe there is still something that makes us believe that religion still plays a significant role in our lives. Many problems in pinpointing the issue have arisen just because of the unclear terminology.

  2. What exactly is 'cultural relativism' in metaethics? Is cultural relativism true? Can cultural relativists ...

    may provide a better moral solution to an internal cultural quandary than merely letting a culture change in ignorance of others views.

  1. The good sides of patriotism.

    However Tolstoy overlooks the truth that patriotism is a natural feeling which is deeply embedded in human nature. Nobody is able to insert this feeling into someone's heart by force. Tolstoy says that the function of patriotism is to maintain the power of those who rule (105).

  2. To what extent are individual soldiers morally responsible for the protection of civilians during ...

    However, even if we do not accept the basis of Derrida's argument, I would assert that his conclusion is correct. All people are morally equivalent, not necessarily because they are all equally 'other' to us but because a moral theory should not differentiate between people based on arbitrary characteristics such as their race or nationality.

  1. Universal Law Calls for the Dismissal of Politics: An Analysis of Kant's Philosophy on ...

    However, each individual owns a subjective reality, and the morality of universality insists that all individuals have the same rational potential as every other, and must be treated with the respect. "Morality", according to Kant, "demands that we derive from our own self-interest a generalized concern for all human beings.

  2. Critically examine the statistical evidence that supports the Secularisation thesis.

    According to 'Religious Trends No 7 (2007-2008)' published by Christian Research, in general church attendance in the United Kingdom has reduced rapidly in terms of percentages. In 1990 5,595,600 people, representing 10% of the UK population, regularly attended Church, by 2005 this number had reduced to 3,926,300, equating to 6.7% of the UK population.

  1. The reading suggests that modern nation building in the Muslim world demonstrates three patterns: ...

    Yet, a tendency to forster secular forms of national identity and solidarity and to limit religion as private rather than public need. 3 Variety of Muslim governments had been obtain for political legitimacy and authority as well as mobilize popular support for programs and policies.

  2. Is religion really in decline in the west or is it merely changing?

    An egalitarian mentality developed, which according to Bruce (2002) made hereditary inequalities and hierarchies more difficult to sustain. The reformation worked to encourage individualism, autonomy and individual thought (Martin 1978). Religion or Beliefs systems differ in their ability to cater for varying interpretations. For instance, some religions may claim a monopoly on a singular truth, whilst others may allow for slight variations.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work