America’s history of internalizing foreign conflicts by means of discriminating against and interning ethnicities on the basis of fearful suspicion is all too clear and mirrors the kind of perceptions Americans have today of Muslims, who because of the nature of the 9/11 attacks, are seen as infiltrators and subversives. These images are only enhanced by dependence on the mass media, which broadcasted political speech aimed at justifying wars against Muslim and Arab targets. Although there are signs of hope for an improvement to American perceptions of Muslims in America, their image has been irreversibly worsened by the harsh wartime rhetoric of an administration trying desperately to justify a two-pronged “War on Terror”.
Immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, American Muslims went from ordinary, productive citizens to targets of racial profiling and racist suspicion. And despite the time that has elapsed since the attacks, little has changed about this characterization of the Muslim faith. Muslims are still seen as violent, religious radicals who seek to undermine the Christian power struggle working in the United States. Part of this problem has been, for the seven years following the attacks, the Bush Administration’s “global War of Terror”. The emphasis on global signifies that not only is the War on Terror being fought overseas, in the deserts of a little-known rogue state, but it is being fought domestically as well, with growing fears of “homegrown” terrorists, or terrorists who use American training, like the 9/11 hijackers, to accomplish their appalling objectives. Due to the domestic fear of terrorists, racial profiling occurs at airports and borders and illegal surveillance occurs at mosques (Emery, 2009). As a report from the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections observed, these FBI