American Muslims: The Forgotten Victims of 9/11

As most of you may know, this year’s 9/11 marks the 10th anniversary of the tragic attacks on the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon that has resulted in the deaths of 2,973 Americans and forever changed the United States as we know it. There are countless articles that one can read that goes in depth of the multitudes of people who were affected directly and indirectly. But the bottom point is: it didn’t matter what race or nationality you were, everybody was tainted in some way by tragedy. We either knew someone in our lives or that of another’s that suffered a loss.

This article however is not about the loss that we as Americans suffered on that day. This article is about the hatred and the violence that ensued after that. Warning: the opinions I state here are that of mine alone and therefore I welcome any criticism and feedback to what I may say next.

We tend to forget that in light of the terrorist attack, there were another group of victims that the mainstream media turned a blind eye on entirely. Barely any attention was paid towards the American Muslim community and the severe backlash they received. Not only did the media turned a blind eye, they painted them as evil when in reality, the majority had absolutely nothing to do with the attacks.

While Americans have been deeply affected by this tragedy, we forget that Muslims are also the very same Americans who are hurt just as everybody else. The attacks on the WTC were senseless as many Muslim Americans died on that day. It is a vivid reminder that terrorism has no religious base, only madness for its philosophy. Madness not only took place on that day but on the days following after as countless hate crimes have been conducted on American Muslims or anyone mainstream Americans believed to be the “enemy.”

On that note, it is important we see perspectives from this particular community as their stories must be heard and told. Do yourself a favor and check out the latest edition of Asian American Literary Review as it is a special edition exploring the repercussions of 9/11 on the communities that were most affected: South Asian, Arab, Middle Eastern, and Muslim American. You can purchase this special commemorative issue here.

The American Muslim community weren’t the only victims. As a result of 9/11, America went into paranoid military obsessed overdrive and soon began their invasion on Iraq. As of today, the death toll for Iraqi civilians vary wildly but at the VERY least, over 100,000 innocent Iraqis died. In comparison to 2,973 Americans that died at the WTC, it becomes clear that hatred begets more hatred. For now though, all I can do here is express myself in this 8Asians article and maybe hope one day that we can make a greater change in ourselves to do what is right, insha’Allah.

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About Edward

Edward Hong is an actor and spoken poet. Passion to make a change in this world through the performing arts and activism defines his ongoing life and it is the struggle against all things unjust that gives him this passion to be one heck of a talkative, stubborn man. It, however, does not mean he strives to be a champion or role model of any community but to be the man who will be honest and say the things nobody will have the balls to say. He is the jester who is outspoken in what he believes in most passionately and therefore cannot be pinpointed that he will do what you expect him to do.
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