In addition, the aftermath of the terrorist attacks and the successive War on Terror received massive coverage by the American media as evidence of increasing Islamic fundamentalism. Indeed, Welch (2012) claims that prejudice against Islam and Muslims constitute the last form of racism that is sanctioned. Despite the fact that these terrorist attacks were carried out by a small group of extremists, their actions were widely seen as determining the entire Muslim community’s public image, enabling prejudicial beliefs and actions against them.
Following the 9/11 attacks and the announcement of the war against terror by the Bush administration, there was an automatic linkage between the terrorists responsible and the Muslim community (Welch, 2012). In the weeks, after the attacks, Muslims and other American citizens of apparent Middle Eastern descent became the victims of prejudice and hate crimes, which could be seen as personal retaliations for the attacks. Some of the hate crimes committed during this period included vandalism, arson, death threats, assault, and murder. In fact, the FBI reported that, after the war on terror was alluded to by the administration after the attacks, anti-Islamic hate crimes rose from thirty-six reported cases between mid-2000 to mid-2001 to 481 by mid-2002. In addition, hate crimes perpetrated against Arabs and Middle Easterners rose by more than 1600% in the period after the American government began its anti-terror operations, while at least 20 people who appeared to be Arabs or Muslims were murdered (Welch, 2012). However, the hate crimes perpetrated against Arabs and Muslims during the war on terror were not confined to physical or verbal assault. Business, homes, and Mosques belonging to people fitting an Islamic profile were vandalized.
In the three years after the 9/11 attacks