Changes In Society After The September 11

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After 9/11, Arab and Muslim cultures have been at the forefront of negative backlash, the attacks have opened the world to opinions and oppression’s of Arab’s and Muslims. However, “9/11 has become increasingly normalized and politicized – that is, has been made to fit with particular ideological prejudices” (Doran, 2010). Leaders have heightened security and put in place terrorist laws; also tightening who can leave and enter their borders, re-instating to the public that they are always at risk of another major terrorist attack. Thus making society fearful of everything. ‘The security measures employed by the bush administration (e.g., extra ordinary renditions) have complicated the accommodation of immigrants by the host culture.’ (Cesari, 2010).

The question I chose is asking me to identify the motivations and movements of society after 9/11. I will be underlining the involvement of the Arabs and Muslim relations to the attacks, but more importantly; how the world has changed since. This question will require a response, whereby the motivations are explained (why did they choose to attack New York? and what led them to do it?). I will also be comparing how the world was before and after 9/11 and how the event has impacted society. Before the terrorist attacks Muslim’s and Arab’s weren’t seen as a threat; most moved to America to earn some money. “early immigrants tended to identify as sojourners who hoped to acquire wealth and return to their country of origin, the majority eventually became permanent U.S. residents”, (Jamal and Naber, 2008). Young Muslims after 9/11 are having to stray from their faiths in order to not be seen as a dangerous threat to the public, this is happening because society has started to blame the Muslim and Arab religion for the attacks. “By using all kinds of modern (re)sources young Muslims create their own Islamic self-understanding for which there is no need for religious authority. One of the consequent effects, it is argued, is that many young Muslims are turning into unpredictable – even dangerous – subjects.” (Mahmood 2012). The key terms in this instance are the countries involved in the 9/11, also who the culprits are and how they have changed humanity for the worst. This is because, countries have heightened security and laws surrounding Muslim’s, because they are believed responsible for the attacks. “In Europe counterterrorism measures have led to discriminatory policies toward Muslim immigrants, especially in the case of nationality or citizenship tests, which tend to undermine the efforts of those Muslims who have sought to bridge their faith with western values. Such counter terrorism policies are likely to reinforce radical tendencies in diaspora communities, further intensifying identity politics and local unrest” (Cesari, 2010).

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The 9/11 attack is linked to some of the important questions in Humanities: What caused the attack? Why has this happened? What does this mean for the next generation? History offers insightful reasons into these questions. Humanities focuses on culture and the society it’s upheld in, it focuses on time and the events that happen within it as well as showing the people within that time frame and what links they have to specific events and how they were involved. Humanities and Social Science keep 9/11 and other tragedies in the media and forever remembered. “9/11 has altered the terms and categories of philosophical debate, looking at changes in the conception of moral and political reasoning, rationality and responsibility, and the repercussions for justice, human rights and international law” (Rockmore, Margolis and Marsoobian, 2005).

“The September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and on the Pentagon near Washington, DC were shocking global media events that dominated public attention and provoked reams of discourse, reflection, and writing. These media spectacles were intended to terrorize the US, to attack symbolic targets, and to unfold a terror spectacle Jihad against the West, as well as to undermine the US and global economy” (Kellner, 2006) At 8:46am on September 11th 2001 the American Airline Flight number 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York. At first, people and newscasters weren’t too sure whether the crash was an accident or a targeted attack. Then at exactly 9:03am, the United Flight 175 deliberately flew into the South Tower, this left no hesitation that this was a targeted attack. People had then started to wave desperately from the windows of the Towers, they were trapped by the smoke and flames, the elevators were down, and the stairs were destroyed. At least 200 people had jumped from the towers to try and escape. At 9:40am the American Airline Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. Then at 9:59am the south tower collapsed from the damage caused by the crash, people had started to flee, others recorded the moment and newscasters had started to broadcast around the world. The Federal Aviation Administration had declared all airlines to land in the closet airports and not leave until said so. At 10:03am the hijacked United Flight number 93 had crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The plane’s target was believed to be the US Capitol, however the passengers had tried to take back control of the flight, after they had heard of the other attacks and knew they had to act fast. At 10:28am the North Tower had collapsed. It had only taken 12 seconds for the two towers to fall. Rescue efforts on the Ground had continued in operation until October 9th. The flames from the collapsed towers burned until December 20th. 2,606 people died in the World Trade Centers and in the surrounding areas, 1,402 people died in or at the upper floors of impact at the North Tower. 614 people were killed in or above the floors of impact on the South Tower. 343 firefighters and paramedics, 184 in Washington, DC, 176 people on the ground, 71 law enforcement officers, 40 people in Pennsylvania. A little more than 90 countries lost citizens in the event, including England, (67 deaths), the Dominican Republic (47 deaths), India (41 deaths) and Australia (10). This number had risen to a fatal number of nearly 3,000 people.

“The hijackings on 9/11 are transnational terrorist events for a number of reasons: the incidents were planned abroad; the terrorists came from outside of the United States; support came from abroad; victims were from over 80 countries; and the incidents had economic and security implications worldwide.” (Enders and Sandler, 2018). The attacks put the world in a state of unease, everyone payed tribute to the victims and families of, some even flew to New York to help the firefighters and to volunteer, this helped strengthen peoples trust and the ability to see the good in people, however 8 years before the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, there was a bomb planted in a truck parked in a parking garage beneath the World Trade Center, this bomb killed six people and had injured more than 1,000. There was an estimated 50,000 people that had to be evacuated. The explosion had created a hole that was 60.96 meters by 30.48 meters as well as several stories deep. It caused the PATH station ceiling to cave in. Only 6 out of the 7 suspects were ever convicted. The seventh accused, Abdul Rahman Yasin, has never been caught, and to this day he remains at large. “The time that followed 9/11 is said to be ‘post ironic’ in the sense that most of the irony mobilized in humor (especially political humor) is not as edgy, and certainly not as ‘blank’ (sconce 2002, 2006, Thomas 2009)” (Webber, 2013)

9/11 has moved society into tighter security, tougher terrorism laws and an enhanced reality of people’s surroundings and who are around them, “the impact that 9/11 may have had on bilateral trade following the tragedy. Rather, most evaluations of 9/11 have focused on the consequences of border-related security disruptions on the operations and costs of shippers and manufacturers.” (Globerman and Storer, 2009). Governments all around the world made sure that there would never be another terrorist attack like 9/11. They put their countries in the first priority. The media has made sure that September 11th 2001 will remain in every persons lives. Governments and society has banded together to ensure that they are stronger than the attacks.  


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