Challenges and conflicts in political interactions between states on a global level have always affected how relationships between the representatives of corresponding cultures develop. Due to the complexity of political relationships between the U.S. and several Muslim countries after the tragedy that took place on September 11, 2001, the attitudes toward Muslim Americans have been based on suspicion and prejudices among the rest of the American community (Foner 1172).
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Although the source of negative feelings and prejudices toward the German Americans after WWI and Japanese Americans after WWII were quite different compared to the ones shown toward Muslim Americans nowadays, the extent and nature thereof are virtually the same, being based on ethnic and cultural stereotypes and fear. However, due to the increase in the intensity of prejudices and the emergence of the tools that allow for fearmongering among citizens, the extent of negativity that Muslim Americans experience in modern American society is much greater.
The experiences of Muslim Americans regarding social tension and even downright discrimination have been quite traumatic. While the general concept of fighting against terrorism was a rather natural and justified response to the tragedy of September 11, its toll on Muslim American citizens has been huge in terms of discrimination that they have witnessed. According to Flanagin’s account of the relationships between Muslim Americans and the rest of the U.S. population, the victimization of Muslim Americans is comparable to that one of German Americans after WWI, although it may not reach the extent of hatred for Japanese Americans after WWII (Foner 1173).
As Flanagin explains, “These assessments of hyphenated Americans—German, Irish, Catholic, etc.—were hysterical and maliciously bigoted, inspired by a noxious combination of fear and stupidity” (par. 17). Simultaneously, Flanagin states that the relationship toward Muslim Americans nowadays is similar to that one to German Americans in the 1940ies (par. 1).
Therefore, the attitudes toward Muslim Americans are currently very close to those that German Americans had to face after WWI, with the extent of suspicion and the perception of the specified demographic as an inherent threat being extraordinarily high. However, the rate at which Muslim people are marginalized in the American community might be a bit lower than the amount of discrimination and bias that Japanese Americans had to deal with after WWII.
The tragedy of 9/11 has left an indelible mark on American society, causing massive social trauma and derailing the relationships between Americans and the Muslim community. As a result, the Muslim American population in the U.S. has been facing significant contempt and has been deemed as a threat to public safety by a range of American citizens (Foner 1170). The extent of mistrust, fear, and hostility toward Muslim Americans among the rest of American citizens nowadays make their experiences quite comparable to those of German Americans after WWI and Japanese Americans after WWII (Foner 1175).
The observed tendency takes place due to the effects that social media have produced on spreading misinformation and allowing people with a misconstrued perception of Muslim Americans to create groups geared by the same emotions, primarily, fear toward the specified demographic (Flanagin). As a result, the extent of hostility that Muslim Americans have faced after the infamous terrorist act is even higher than it was for German Americans at the time of the corresponding political conflicts, although the amount of discrimination that Japanese Americans had to face after WWII might have been slightly higher.
Flanagin, Jake. “Today’s Muslim Americans are Yesterday’s German Americans.” Quartz. 2015. Web.
Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty! 3rd ed., W. W. Norton & Company, 2016.