This paper is a discussion of the factors that have led Muslims to now be afraid to travel in fear that they will stopped at security. One of the main factors that led to this is the 2001 terrorist attack which involved two planes crashing into to main buildings of the World Trade Centre. Additionally, the concept of racial profiling will also be discussed which is when an individual is judged on their appearance; something that many religions experience.
Muslim, 9/11, Racism, Discrimination, Racial Profiling, Religion
On the 11th of September 2001, four planes were hijacked by Islamic terrorists and two were intentionally flown into the Twin Towers located in New York. The planes caused them to collapse, horrifying millions. The third was flown into the Pentagon whilst the fourth failed to hit is target which was the white house and crashed into a field nearby instead. Over 3000 lives were lost, including the 19 hijackers. The terrorist attack was deemed to be the worst incident the US has ever witnessed (BBC, 2018).
Following on from the attack, there showed to be high discrimination of Islamic people throughout airports. Discrimination is when an individual is judged because of their race, age, gender, religion or other different characteristics that they portray. It is a repeated occurrence in everyday life, even though it is deemed to be against the law. In order to attempt to stop discrimination, the Equality Act of 2010 was created in order to prove that everybody should be treated the same. This also links back to racism which is when a person is only discriminated because of their race, primarily targeting the variation of skin colours. Considering the creation of the equality act, this unfortunately does not stop people from being afraid of being discriminated when travelling as they hold a fear that they may be stopped or searched or worst case scenario, may not even be let on board of a flight. (Miles and Brown, 2003).
It has been stated that since the 9/11 attack, airlines have found any excuse to kick anybody who appears to be Arab or Muslim off their flights in fear that an attack like 9/11 while happen again. 9/11 proved that the security within the US was weak and that it had to be altered. Because of this weakness and the fact that the terrorist’s race was Islamic meant that it lead to a lot of Americans to be more cautious around the religion. Even to this day, people can still be unintentionally cautious around such races, especially within airports (Ahmed, 2016).
Many people who travel, especially Muslims, don’t always feel secure when doing so. They dread being able to travel freely due to factors such as 9/11 as a lot of Islamic people are now racial profiled for this terrorist attack. Racial profiling is when an individual is targeted because of their race and religion rather than their behaviour in different situations, such as airports. In today’s society, travelling as a Muslim can be a stressful experience; one main factor that has led to this experience is 9/11 (Ahmed, 2016). The only reason why 9/11 has caused airport security to be more cautious around Muslims is because the hijackers were Islamic, and that is the only apparent reason. Now many people think that if an individual is a Muslim then they've got a higher chance of being a terrorist (Miles and Brown, 2003).
When travelling, many Muslims will face the fear of being randomly selected by airport security. This fear can be worse for individuals who are more expressive about their religion. Muslims feel as though that they have had to change their behaviour to avoid getting stopped at security. Muslim and Middle Eastern men have considered shaving off their beards and dressing differently in order to avoid racial profiling (Miles and Brown, 2003; Ahmed, 2016).
Airlines and airports will always attract many different people across the globe due to the fact that people love to travel to different locations. Ever since planes were invented, people have been able to travel where ever they want with ease. Those who travel by plane and use airports will always be of different races and skin colours due to them being from all over the world, so of course there will always be a percentage of Arabs, Muslims, and Asians etc. that will travel too. This then means that they should be treated with the same respect as everybody else, and to not be racially profiled. However, due to modern day terrorism and views on such religions because of instances such as the 9/11 attack, the concept of racial profiling within airports may carry on for many years to come (Ahmed, 2016).
Ahmed, Y. (2016). It no longer feels safe to fly as a Muslim – and airlines are making a difficult situation worse. The Independent. [online] Available at: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/muslim-woman-aeroplane-syrian-book-detained-terror-laws-faziah-shaheen-a7171556.html
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BBC. (2018). The 9/11 terrorist attacks. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/events/the_september_11th_terrorist_attacks
[Accessed 1 May 2018].
Miles, R. and Brown, M. (2003). Racism. 2nd ed. London: Routledge.