The 9/11 Backlash by Nicoletta Karam
A Decade of U.S. Hate Crimes Targeting the Innocent

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Many journalists and news commentators deny the existence, length, and
intensity of the wave of intolerance that began immediately after 9/11
and continued for years afterward. This book is an attempt to document
that this backlash did occur, and was much worse and much longer in
duration than many Americans realize. In the years following 9/11, many
ethnic Americans and immigrant residents were affected by a surge of
hate crimes triggered by the terrorist strikes and the concomitant 'War
on Terror.' This book argues that the 9/11 backlash was fueled by
20th-century Islamophobia and Hinduphobia, coupled with local and
federal authorities' long-standing unwillingness to acknowledge the
reality of hate crimes or handle them with the gravity they deserved.
These factors created a "perfect storm" of xenophobia that swept through
the U.S. after the terrorist attacks and continued to affect diverse
minority communities for more than a decade.

Chapter one establishes the need for this book, discussing how reporters
and pundits often dismissed or trivialized the bias component of attacks
taking place in the aftermath of 9/11. This introductory chapter also
explores the incredible ethnic and religious diversity of both bias
crime victims and perpetrators. Chapter two provides an overview of
pre-9/11 bias attacks, arguing that poor local and federal response to
'Dot-buster' assaults, mosque arsons, and other 20th-century hate crimes
created an environment in which post-9/11 xenophobia flourished.
Subsequent chapters explore different dimensions of the decade-long
backlash, demonstrating how news commentators routinely minimized the
severity of post-9/11 hate crimes and local and federal investigators
denied that hate crimes were taking place in their jurisdictions.
Chapter three acknowledges the South Asian, Christian Arab, and Muslim
victims of the terrorist strikes in order to challenge nativist
interpretations of 9/11. Chapter four discusses physical assaults that
began on September 11, 2001 and continued for years afterwards. Chapter
five examines post-9/11 vandalism attacks and arsons at mosques, Sikh
prayer centers, and Hindu temples. Synagogues and immigrant-friendly
churches were also targeted. Chapter six investigates backlash incidents
on academic campuses. Chapter seven explores 9/11 hate crimes targeting
minority employees in their workplaces, establishing that taxi drivers,
7-Eleven convenience-store clerks, and gas station attendants were
particularly vulnerable. Chapter eight delves into bias-motivated
attacks on minority residences in the aftermath of the terrorist
strikes. Chapter nine examines death threats and verbal attacks after
9/11. Chapter ten discusses killings linked to the backlash. Each of
these middle chapters begins in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and
covers hate crimes in the decade that followed. These chapters also
include a discussion of Islamophobic and Hinduphobic television programs
and films that coincided with the timing of bias attacks. Chapter
eleven investigates 75 reasons why backlash hate crimes are undercounted
in the U.S., focusing on the unwillingness of minority victims to report
attacks to minimally-sympathetic local and federal authorities. Chapter
twelve offers 75 solutions to problems raised by the backlash. This
section questions the efficacy of specific 'War on Terror' federal
policies and proposes strategies to end post-9/11 discrimination, such
as the widespread racial profiling of airport travelers. This book ends
with a discussion of the August 5, 2012 Wisconsin Sikh Temple Massacre.

About Nicoletta Karam

See more books from this Author
Nicoletta Karam graduated with honors from Swarthmore College, where she was an editor of the Phoenix and a correspondent for the New York Times. She has a degree in Arabic from the University of Alexandria, Egypt, and a Ph.D in American history from Brandeis University. Her 2005 dissertation, "Kahlil Gibran's Pen Bond: Modernism and the Manhattan Renaissance of Arab-American Literature," explores how the liberating clash of Oriental and Occidental worldviews influenced early 20th-century Middle Eastern immigrant writers.
Published July 31, 2012 by BookBaby. 442 pages
Genres: History. Non-fiction

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