Junior Research Paper

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Sam Muneer
Ms. Rebecca Chai
English 3 Honors  
26 March 2014

“All men are created equal and are endowed by their creator the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. In these United States of America, men and women should not be judged by the religion they practice but by the content of their character. Unfortunately, in the post 9/11 era, American Muslims have been denied access to this “promised land”-- subjected to derision in these “Glorious” United States of America. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, perspectives on Islam have undergone dramatic changes, with 43% of all Americans harboring prejudiced feelings toward Islam. From this, the general perception on Islam has turned to unfounded validation of stereotyping and racial profiling (Gallup,1).    On September 11, 2001, a total of 19 terrorists hijacked four passenger air crafts. American Flight Number 11 had 87 passengers plus five hijackers; United Flight Number 175 had a total of 60 passengers with another five hijackers; United Flight Number 93 had 40 passengers and an additional four hijackers; and American Flight Number 77 had 59 passengers plus five hijackers. Every person that was on board these flights was killed. Flight 175 and Flight 11 both hit the World Trade Center, eventually causing both the North and the South tower to eventually collapse. Flight 77 made its way to the Pentagon and effectively damaged part of the building. Flight 93, with the help of some fellow courageous passengers, did not make it to the designated target of the White House, but instead crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. In all, there was a total 3000 deaths associated with the 9/11 attacks. The terrorists that violently took control of these four planes had been proven to be active members of a known terrorist group exclusively known as Al-Qaeda. Members of this group practice an extreme form of Islam and somewhat distort the views of what Islam really intends to teach its followers (Scholastic). For a short time after, thousands of men and women turned in DNA samples and saliva samples in order to help sift through the thousands of corpses that lay under the rubble of the collapsed buildings. In some cases, miniscule body parts including bone fragments were used to identify the deceased. Six months after the attacks, 18,937 body parts and 287 corpses had been discovered. In addition, only 972 identifications had been established. Of the 65 people on board Flight 175, not including the hijackers, only two passengers had been identified. As time went on, family members and others who had suffered losses began to realize that there was probably no hope of ever identifying the deceased. Grievous questions as to how much of the body shall be buried began to arise (Out of the Blue). As the numbers of casualties skyrocketed, so did the American disbelief that such a horrific event had occurred. In response to the attacks, the United States government established the Department of Homeland Security and thereby enforced strict security details at all airports, both international and domestic. What was considered a knee jerk reaction was to capture and/or kill Osama Bin-Laden, the man who allegedly orchestrated the attacks and who was also the head of Al-Qaeda. Eventually, in order to sever this head, the United States invaded Pakistan, where Bin-Laden was said to have sought refuge. As a team of Navy SEALs was deployed into Pakistan, on May 2, 2011, American morale began to lift. Shortly after 1:00 AM (PKT), Osama Bin-Laden was shot in the head, and announced dead shortly after.

Throughout the continental US, American Muslims have been subjected to persecution and harassment, especially in airports. Many American Muslims have come to complain of “random screenings” that seem to only target either Muslims or Sikhs, who are commonly mistaken for Muslims. What is found ironic is that through Al-Qaeda’s actions, numerous...
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