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The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims

Eleven years has passed since that fateful Tuesday morning, one that for many Americans, crystallized a suspected link between Islam and violence.


Eleven years has passed since that fateful Tuesday morning, one that for many Americans, crystallized a suspected link between Islam and violence. In that time, sadly enough, unfavorable views of Islam have increased steadily. Out of collective national heartache, a rising climate of hate and mistrust has grown.

Two years after 19 of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims attacked the World Trade Center and Pentagon, an ABC News poll found that 34 percent of Americans believed that Islam encourages violence. Five years later, in 2008, despite the rarity of religiously inspired attacks, that number rose sharply to 48 percent. Today, the pattern of skepticism continues. A Washington Post-ABC News poll released in September 2010 suggested that half of Americans harbor negative views of Islam, the highest number recorded since the al-Qaeda attacks in 2001.

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Teachers Are Figuring Out How to Handle 9/11

Eleven years later, teachers are starting to develop strategies for dealing with such an emotionally and politically charged event.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7JNB3Z_y_A

Eleven years after 9/11, figuring out how and what to teach about the tragedy is still a challenge for the nation's educators. Textbooks don't always include what happened, teachers worry about seeming partisan or inciting anti-Muslim sentiment, and today's K-12 kids were either toddlers or not even born when 9/11 happened.

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When my family gathered to mark the end of Ramadan a few weeks ago, a young woman approached me wearing a floor-length black abaya. A niqab covered everything except for a 6-inch slit over her eyes. She shook my hand tightly, said hello, and walked away.

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Americans Are More Afraid of Muslims Now that Bin Laden Is Dead

Some optimists thought Osama's death would help combat Islamophobia. But a new survey reveals it's only made it worse.

When Osama bin Laden was pronounced dead in early May, the entire country erupted into one big frat party celebrating the demise of the United States' number one enemy. Progressive publications reminded everyone that the death of a man was no reason to celebrate, while others pointed out this may bring a sense of peace to 9/11's victims. One line in President Obama's nine-minute speech sought to distance the al Qaeda leader from the rest of the Islamic world: "Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims." Optimists hoped that Bin Laden's death was not just the culmination of a decade-long witch hunt, but also the end of some people's irrational prejudice toward Muslims.

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People Are Awesome: Muslim Hate-Crime Victim Petitions to Save His Attacker's Life

A white supremacist killer is set to die in Texas on Wednesday. Not if one of his victims has anything to say about it.


In the three weeks following the 9/11 attacks, Dallas white supremacist Mark Stroman set out on a mission to kill Muslim men. Later he said he was angry that government officials "hadn't done their job, so he was going to do it for them." Four days after the World Trade Center fell, Stroman killed Waqar Hasan, a 46-year-old Pakistani man, with a gunshot to the head in Hasan's convenience store. Six days after that he shot Rais Bhuiyan in the face at a gas station. Bhuiyan went blind in one eye, but survived. Lastly, on October 4, Stroman shot Vasudev Patel, an Indian immigrant who was Hindu, killing him instantly. Stroman was caught after killing Patel and has since pleaded guilty to his crimes.

Under Texas' notoriously strict capital punishment laws, Stroman was sentenced to death. He is set to be killed by lethal injection on Wednesday. It turns out, however, that one of the biggest opponents of his death sentence is also the most unlikely: Bhuiyan, Stroman's sole surviving victim.

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Why Teachers Shouldn't Be Expected to Talk About Bin Laden's Death

My fourth-grade son's teacher didn't talk about the killing of Osama bin Laden in class—and that was a good decision.

One of the first things my 10-year-old fourth grader said on Sunday night after we finished watching President Obama announce the killing of Osama Bin Laden was, "I wonder what my teacher will say about this at school tomorrow." I'm not surprised he thought that. After all, students spend most of their waking hours in classrooms, and teachers, and their opinions, are huge influences on them.

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