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Op-ed: Islamophobia flared after 9/11 and still rages. But the good news: Muslim Americans feel embraced by many.

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16.09.2021

After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, America witnessed a spike of anti-Islamic bigotry and hate. Denounced as security threats by some politicians and media outlets, Muslims were assaulted and their mosques were vandalized. The message was clear: You don’t belong here.

That’s the story we heard in multiple accounts last week, as America marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11. And it’s true, of course. Everyone should know about the ongoing scourge of Islamophobia in America.

But here’s something else everybody should know: The vast majority of Muslims feel welcome and valued here. Indeed, they are among the happiest — and the most patriotic — Americans.

That wasn’t as widely reported last week, which speaks to another problem in the ways we think about Islam in America. By emphasizing the all-too-real prejudice against Muslims but downplaying their satisfaction and success, we inadvertently reinforce the idea that they don’t belong here. And the only way to resist that is by presenting a more balanced perspective.

Consider a 2017 Pew Research Center survey of American Muslims, which........

© Chicago Tribune


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