Brian Lehrer: It's The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC. Good morning, everyone. Coming up just after eleven o'clock, it's our weekly Ask The Mayor call in, my questions and yours for Mayor Bill de Blasio as we do every Friday. Today, we know many of you might have questions about the first day of school coming on Monday amid the rise of the Delta variant and we'll take some of those calls for sure, among others, for the mayor today.
One question will be about the decision by the Los Angeles public schools yesterday to have a vaccine mandate for students, 12 and up, students, not just teachers. Good idea for New York. We'll ask the mayor.
Also on the 80,000 city office workers, not teachers but other kinds of office workers being forced back in-person on Monday even while many of the big private employers in the city delay their mandatory returns. We know many city workers feel strongly about that. An important Ask The Mayor coming up after the eleven o'clock news this morning. We'll also look at President Biden's new COVID-related mandates announced yesterday and how they might affect you.
Here we are on September 10th, 2021, the day before the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. All this week on the show, as many of you know and on the station, we've been talking about things that 9/11 changed in this country and in the world. Today, one of the most profound of those in terms of its day-to-day impact on people's lives and sense of safety and comfort in every community in America, it's how 9/11 changed life for American Muslims.
The census doesn't ask people's religions but a Pew Center population study in 2018 estimated there are around three and a half million Muslims in the US. That's around 1% of the population. Three and a half million people. A lot of people to be impacted by the feelings or thoughts or biases of others who were much more in the majority than they are.
After Al Qaeda struck on 9/11 in the name of Islam, as they saw it, President Bush set out to invade Afghanistan to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders but in that context, President George W. Bush said this.
President George W. Bush: The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don't represent peace. They represent evil and war. When we think of Islam, we think of a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world. Billions of people find comfort and solace and peace and that's made brothers and sisters out of every race. America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens. Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country.
Brian Lehrer: President Bush on September 17th, 2001, just six days after the attacks. Now, that obviously did not stop anti-Muslim hate and discrimination from spreading in the United States. By December 2015, Donald Trump, running for president, found it politically advantageous to say this.
Donald J. Trump: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.
Brian Lehrer: That was a big reason Trump was elected. For sure, 9/11 changed life for American Muslims. We'd like to open the phones now for all and any of our Muslim listeners to do some oral history about this so everyone else can learn from it so you can say it out loud in public for the present and for the future.
If you are a Muslim listener who remembers the time before 9/11, how did the September attacks and the response to them in this country change life for you or your children or anyone you know? 646-435-7280 is our phone number. 646-435-7280.
Again, if you're a Muslim listener who remembers a time before 9/11, how did the September 11th attacks and the response to them in this country change life for you or your children or other Muslims you know? 646-435-7280, 646-435-7280, or tweet @BrianLehrer.
With us now to help take your calls and with her take is Rowaida Abdelaziz, national reporter for HuffPost based in New York who covers Islamophobia and other social justice issues. Rowaida, thanks so much for coming on. Welcome back to WNYC.
Rowaida Abdelaziz: Thanks so much. It's so good to be back.
Brian Lehrer: Maybe we should say as a starting point that Islamophobia obviously existed in this country before 9/11, but how do you think it changed after the attacks?
Rowaida Abdelaziz: Absolutely. I'm so glad you brought that up because I think, oftentimes, we only equate the issue of Islamophobia or we only think about Muslim Americans in the post 9/11 context. Now, definitely, the experience post 9/11 was a traumatic one and a life-defining one for many Muslim Americans across the world.
Any of the issues that was already existing in a pre 9/11 world was only amplified and exacerbated. I think we particularly see this on the ground with Muslim Americans who went to school who suddenly were facing unprecedented levels of bullying. We saw a rise in hate crime cases. Some of them being vile and vicious and resulted into the death of not just Muslims but people who were perceived to be Muslim, who were brownish. The Muslim identity then became racialized.
We saw a rise of cases against Muslim women. Gendered Islamophobia, especially those who wear the hijab or the head covering. The day-to-day life changed completely or all of a sudden, so many people felt like they needed to defend their faith. They needed to defend who they were. They needed to defend their American identity. This took a huge emotional and mental toll, I think, on the wider community, both in New York City and elsewhere.
Outside of the socio-cultural aspects, we saw mass changes and policies that came from the Bush administration and continued to morph in various forms throughout that disproportionately impacted the Muslim American community. Things like the Patriot Act, surveillance, the issue of informants, all of which really destroyed the fabric of trust within the Muslim community going to the mosque and not knowing if the person next to you was a Muslim member, a new neighbor, or someone who was spying on you. We saw that continuing to rise.
I think when we reflect on the immediate months and years after 9/11, there's just so much to take in that really changed and defined the Muslim American experience in a way that we had never really seen before.
Brian Lehrer: One of the things that shocked me was how casually accepted it was. I've told this story before but a few years after 9/11, I went to a minor league baseball game in New Jersey. It was the Lakewood BlueClaws. It was firefighters' night. They were honoring firefighters as a thing before and after the game. There was a display outside the stadium in Lakewood with some firefighters' equipment and some firefighters with that equipment.
One of the guy standing there, I'm not going to say it was a firefighter himself, I don't know, but standing with that group was a guy holding a sign. The sign said, "All I need to know about Islam I learned on 9/11." In a way, what was most shocking about that was that the crowd just walked by, very few people said anything to him. It was just accepted that somebody in a fairly prominent location would hold a sign like that and people would shrug and walk by.
Rowaida Abdelaziz: Unfortunately, when did you see this? What year was this when that happened?
Brian Lehrer: I'm trying to remember the exact year. I would say it was around 2004/2005. I could look it up in my old records but it was a few years after 9/11.
Rowaida Abdelaziz: It's wild because I've seen these shirts recently still and folks wearing the shirts and hats and other memorabilia. I think what is particularly unique about Islamophobia and just anti-Muslim rhetoric, generally speaking, is that the faith is not seen as a faith. The Muslim identity has become so politicized over the years that there's an excellent book out there by Asma Uddin talks about When Islam isn't a Religion and the constitutional challenges that come with it but also, the fact that people can wear shirts and hats that can say this because it isn't looked like as a faith, that is, that provides spiritual comfort to 1.3 billion people. That is a source of pride for people in the privacy of their homes.
It's a sense of worship, just like Judaism or Christianity, or Buddhism. It is now seen as a malicious political agenda for Muslims in the US or Muslims outside. We have the predominant stereotype arounding Muslims that they are somehow more prone to violence, that they are somehow more prone to oppress women, that it lacks fair and justice and the faith, all of which is not true.
I think it's a deeply private and emotional part of so many people's lives, but all of a sudden you have to defend it, not only from a civil rights perspective, but also because this is a emotional and private spiritual journey for so many people, that dehumanization has led us to many of the problematic policies that we saw immediately after, and we continue to see today.
Brian Lehrer: Let's take a phone call. Sadique in the Bronx, you're on WNYC. Hi, Sadique. Thanks for calling in.
Sadique: Good morning, Brian.
Brian Lehrer: Do you have a story about how life changed for you or your family after 9/11?
Sadique: Yes. I was 15 when 9/11 happened and I had only been in the country for like six months, because my father felt for us to come from Africa. When 9/11 happened, our dad told my sisters not to put on their hijab anymore because it's not safe. He always tell us anytime we are at the subway, we should make sure we are far away from the track, our backs are against the walls, with the fear that somebody might push my sister because it's easy for you to recognize them with a hijab.
Somebody might push them to the train. I remember my uncle changing his name from Mohammed to Alex. I was like, "Wait a minute. What am I doing in this country?" Even though I was a kid, going out was-- you didn't even want to go out.
Brian Lehrer: Did your sister--
Sadique: Going to the market. My dad had--
Brian Lehrer: Go ahead. I'm sorry to interrupt. Go ahead. You were telling a story. Go ahead.
Sadique: My dad had to shave his beard. He didn't want to put on the jellabiya, the straight dress the Muslim put on, their men put on. Even on the Eid Day, he didn't want us to dress in our traditional dress with the fear that somebody might attack us. It was like you just have to give away your identity, and be who you're not.
Brian Lehrer: So many specifics about hiding who you were. I'm curious, did your sisters at that time stop wearing the hijab that they had been wearing before, and what do they do now?
Sadique: One of them today, even though she's married, she still don't put on the hijab. I asked her the other day, she said she just doesn't feel safe. It still stays with her. She still doesn't feel safe with the hijab. I used to take her childhood passport with the hijab and make fun of it. She was like, "No, don't make fun of this because I still get scared of it."
Brian Lehrer: I hear you. What about you? How do you think being 15 at that time and having experienced everything you just described has affected what kind of a person you are today and what you think about things?
Sadique: I remember one of my uncles used to say, this is not going to stay forever. Americans will understand this is not Islam. These people don't represent Islam and people will accept us for who we are. It will take time, but as time goes on, people will understand, and today I feel it. I feel like people understand it more. People accept Muslims for who they are. It's true from what he said, it's changing. Back in the days, I just didn't feel like being here anymore. I just felt like going back.
Brian Lehrer: What country did you come from?
Sadique: From Ghana?
Brian Lehrer: Sadique, thank you so much for calling in. We really appreciate the clarity of your story. Thank you. Call us again.
Sadique: All right. Thank you.
Brian Lehrer: I'm going to go right to another caller. Suzanne in Reddington, New Jersey. Suzanne, you're on WNYC. Thank you for calling in.
Suzanne: Thank you.
Brian Lehrer: How did 9/11--? [crosstalk] Go ahead, start wherever you want.
Suzanne: I think 9/11 amplified the stigma the Americans had about Muslims, but I think that what really even made it worse was the election of Donald .J. Trump. I felt like the way I see it is that Americans feel entitled and it's okay to insult and bully Muslims regardless of social class or how religious someone is. For example, I never wore the hijab. I don't practice all the protocols of Islam, but people now they ask your name, and is that really your name? Then your last name? "Oh, so are you Muslim?"
Then you get these questions and these looks and my son, for example, as a rising senior in high school, the year of Donald Trump's election, he was bullied. He was called a terrorist. He was physically attacked, and my son went to a very prominent high school at the time. While the school did take action and he got an apology, I just felt like it wasn't taken as seriously. It wasn't handled as quickly as it could have been. It's really disheartening. [crosstalk]
Brian Lehrer: Go ahead, go ahead. I'll ask you a follow-up question then you can say whatever you want. Have you seen it ebb and flow over time? The last caller was referring to something like that. Have you seen it ebb and flow over time? How bad it is or whether people feel freer to express anti-Muslim sentiments at certain points after 9/11 or around Trump and then nod, and then again, anything like that?
Suzanne: For me in my experience, I feel like it depends which part of the country you're in, even in New Jersey, which part of New Jersey you're in. I felt like the more south you went, even within New Jersey, it got worse.
I was going to say the only positive that I do see is with the rise of social media. It has brought a lot of awareness and probably education, although, of course, some of the social media isn't positive. I do see that there's a lot of more awareness and even with younger people, they're far more daring and they're out there to advocate, which I find helpful. We've got a long way to go-- [crosstalk]
Brian Lehrer: [crosstalk] Yes.
Brian Lehrer: Thank you, Suzanne. Thank you so much. We are taking phone calls on the September 10th, 2021 from any Muslim listeners who remember a time before 9/11, as we ask the question, how did the September 11th attacks and the response to them in this country change life for you or your children or other Muslims you know?
646-435-7280, 646-435-7280. Suzanne's line is opening up now but she finished her call.
With us for this still is Rowaida Abdelaziz, national reporter for HuffPost based here in New York. Even just listening to those first two callers, Rowaida, maybe it's an opportunity for you to talk about the diversity of Muslims in America. If you think different groups have experienced post 9/11 bias differently.
There are white American Muslims of Bosnian or other European descent. There are African-American Black Muslims. There are those of South Asian or Middle Eastern descent. Some in all these categories are immigrants. The first caller was an immigrant from Ghana. Some are born here. Can you talk about the diversity or diverse or common impacts?
Rowaida Abdelaziz: American Muslims are one of the most ethnically diverse faith groups in the country and in the world. In the US in particular, American Muslims actually don't have a majority faith. Like you mentioned, they're Arabs or South Asians, they're Black Muslims. I think one of the problems with Islamophobia is that we have made this very narrow box.
I think we've perpetuated a stereotype or the cliche that Muslims are South Asians and Arabs, and that's it, and vice versa. Despite the fact that most Arabs and Middle Easterners aren't Muslims, and despite the fact that this does a disservice to all the other parts of the American Muslim community. The very first Muslims here in the US are Black Muslims. Black Muslims make about a fifth of the American-Muslim population.
The fastest-growing Muslim community in the US is the Hispanic Muslim population. We need to give more credit to the diversity of the community because all of these factions of the community are going to respond differently, are going to have very different experiences to how they respond to certain policies, to how they communicate as a community, all the languages and the cultures of the community. We see this in the mosques, we see this during Ramadan and Eid days, the diversity of the Muslim community, and so conflating the Muslim identity with one or two races, I think does just a disservice and unfortunately, that tends to be the predominant narrative we see in media coverage, we see in film and entertainment, in Hollywood.
A lot of that is giving back the complexities and the richness to a community that the statistics prove that they are so diverse, and like you mentioned, half of Muslims are native-born in the US and the other half are foreign-born, but the majority of American Muslims are US citizens. We're talking about the diversity of Muslim women. Some who do wear hijab, some who don't wear hijab, and the different classes of Muslims, the working class aspect of Muslims versus the ones who are more wealthy.
American Muslims are certainly not a monolith and they identify with so many aspects of our community here in the US and I think remembering that is incredibly important when we're talking about a faith community that is so incredibly diverse.
Brain Lehrer: We've had a caller so far named Saddique and a caller named Suzanne and here's one named Ben in Brooklyn. Ben, you're on WNYC. Thank you for calling in.
Ben: Hello, good morning. I am coming from Brooklyn, yes. My name is actually Bin Abbas, but it's related to what happened before 9/11 and after 9/11. I go by the name Ben, especially more so after 9/11 because if I go by the name Bin Abbas, you tell right away that I'm Muslim. I'm afraid to say that when 9/11 happened, I was very, very embarrassed, ashamed, and also afraid at the same time.
I was a young medical student at the time and I remember being so embarrassed when the planes hit, I was in a hospital studying. I remember people getting upset, and I knew instantly that it was a terrorist attack from Muslim groups. It's unfortunate what happened at the time, but over the years, I've seen a huge change, Muslims being more accepted at my workplace, and everywhere else, I think, like Saddique was saying, changes happen. I know Islamophobia continues, but in my opinion, I've seen dramatic change and improvements in the way we're seen in the world.
Brain Lehrer: That's encouraging. You said at the beginning of your call that you were embarrassed and ashamed after the 9/11 attacks. Obviously, you didn't perpetrate them, so I wonder if you could talk about where you think those emotions came from.
Ben: Those emotions came from me knowing that it was a horrendous thing that happened, and it was perpetrated by Muslims, but also where I used to train and work at the time, was a predominantly Jewish institution and a lot of people there were very, very upset, I guess, rightfully so about terrorist attack, but they pointed right away and said a lot of disparaging things about Muslims. I would go out of my way to not let anyone know that I was a Muslim. It's sad to say, but that was just the reality of my life at the time.
Brain Lehrer: What was the conversation like if there were these kinds of conversations in your own family, or among other Muslims you know and yourself about the fact that the terrorism was committed, and sometimes is committed, at least as the terrorists are concerned in the name of the religion? What kind of conversations is that or just even thoughts in your own head has that prompted?
Ben: Well, I'll give you an example. My brother's name is Mohammed. When 9/11 happened, I noticed all of a sudden, he's going by Mo all the time, and his friends will call him Mo as well. I think he was also trying to shield himself because we're worried about repercussions and attacks against Muslims and also that nagging embarrassing feeling that well, someone from my group did this horrendous thing to innocent civilians.
Our conversations were always, unfortunately, finding ways to assimilate, but also not revealing too much our background just so that we don't get mistreated because of what happened in 9/11 but, like I said, a huge improvement, at least in my observation over the years.
Brain Lehrer: Ben, thank you so much for your call. We really appreciate it and with our guest Rowaida Abdelaziz, national reporter for HuffPost, based in New York, who covers Islamophobia and other social justice issues. Rowaida, I wonder if you would pick up on that last little stretch of conversation I was having with the caller, Ben, just before the break about conversations within the community.
I think sometimes an expression of Islamophobia comes in the form of nobody denounces it, and that's false, but that all Muslims want to talk about is Islamophobia and the discrimination against them. Where are the loud voices? Where are the community leaders standing up to clearly and squarely denounce terrorism that is done even if just by a radical, very, very, very few, in the name of the religion?
I wonder if you could talk about those conversations that you might have been involved with or your coverage of the community in that respect because, frankly, every religion has its radicals and these are topics that Jews talk about among themselves when it comes to Judaism, that Christians talk about among themselves when it comes to Christianity, that I know very well that Muslims talk about when it comes to radicalism in the name of Islam. Can you talk about that dynamic a little bit?
Rowaida Abdelaziz: Absolutely, and this ties beautifully to what we were talking about before about the diversity of the Muslim community, so different populations, different segments of the community wanted to respond differently. Everyone wanted to respond because everyone felt like they were being attacked, and so we saw an increase of mosques, opening their door, Imams who were trying to engage with the non-Muslim community, hosting an Ask a Muslim day.
We saw folks who felt the need to consistently come out and say that they condemned the terrorism, to teach about their Islamic faith, to open the doors to their homes, and to break bread with their neighbors and friends and folks who don't know a Muslim.
To date, the statistics show that the majority of Americans don't know a Muslim personally. Those who don't know a Muslim personally were more likely to have negative views on Islam and Muslim Americans. Those who did know a Muslim personally actually had positive views about Islam and American Muslims. There was a segment of the Muslim population who really jumped on that and took that to their core and made it their mission to go out there, to engage with the local school districts, to engage with their libraries, and to consistently condemn all and any terrorist attacks.
They were well-intentioned, absolutely, and I think this was a school of thought that they felt this was going to help the narrative. Now those who say where are the leaders and where are the Muslims condemning? To be quite frank, those folks are just not listening or just not looking because it's everywhere. When you talk to any Muslim, I think there has been a time and place where they felt the need to not just defend their faith, but also to clarify their faith. It forced a lot of Muslims to suddenly learn more.
You had a middle schooler who just wanted to survive middle school or high school and get good grades who were suddenly expected to have the knowledge of an Imam, or a religious leader, or an academic.
Now, I think what's so fascinating, Brian, is the new generation of Muslim Americans who were born after 9/11, who didn't witness 9/11, but are still experiencing the impacts of 9/11, and those American Muslims are saying, "No, I have nothing to do with this. This has nothing to do with my Islamic identity. Why do I have to go out of my way to prove that I'm a good person, to prove that I have nothing to do with these radical groups."
It's been incredibly fascinating to see the generational changes, the changes among ethnic and racial lines, and how people are choosing to assert their American Muslim identity and not feel the need to consistently condemn and defend.
Brain Lehrer: Fatima in Wayne, you're on WNYC. Hi, Fatima. Thanks for calling in.
Fatima: Hi, Brian. Thanks for taking my call first-time long time.
Brain Lehrer: You have a story from just after 9/11, right?
Fatima: Yes, I was in high school. It was around the holidays in December of 2001, and it was also around the Muslim holiday. I had injured myself, I needed to go to the emergency room to get stitches. While I was in the emergency room, next to me was [unintelligible 00:29:57] like a varsity football player and his mom who was wearing this maroon cut t-shirt or sweatshirt rather was easing in front of my room where my mom was next to me, we were both visibly dressed. We were both wearing scarves. Her sweatshirt had in bold lock white letters, "Lock Islam", and she was just [unintelligible 00:30:27] the whole time.
Brian Lehrer: You broke up right as you said what was on her sweatshirt? What were the words?
Fatima: Lock Islam, L-O-C-K Islam just blazoned upon her sweatshirt.
Brian Lehrer: What did that even mean? The word lock.
Fatima: I took it to mean gather them all up, put them in something different in a way, and segregated from everyone. We were sent home from school the entire week after that Tuesday morning for the rest of the week because we were in a private school. A private Islamic school and the entire week and even the months afterward, my mom would later recollect to me, she was worried about people knocking on the door and taking us away, not unlike the Japanese being recruited or being-- [crosstalk]
Brian Lehrer: Yes, in World War II. I'm curious if you had any interaction with that woman in the ER. I mean, there you were, I guess from what you described, identifiable to her as a Muslim from what you were wearing, but there you were just another human being with an injury in the emergency room.
Fatima: I did not engage in her verbally. I am not sure I would have known what to say. It was only a couple of months after the fact that it was still pretty raw and the tension was still really tangible. We were limiting going outside for reasons that weren't related to getting the essentials and going to school or work.
Brian Lehrer: How about today? How about having gone through the Trump era where some of that broke into the official rhetoric of the United States government?
Fatima: I try actually to almost not acknowledge it overtly to try to diffuse the situation. My job requires me to interact with a lot of people in pretty precarious situations that I wouldn't want them to feel that my work is impacted because of what I thought of their views. Much as I would contain as internal confrontation of their bias and prejudice.
Brian Lehrer: Fatima, thank you so much for your call. We really, really appreciate it. Farrah in Nassau County, you're on WNYC. Hi, Farrah. Farrah, do we have you, am I saying your name right?
Farrah: Hi. I'm so sorry about that.
Brian Lehrer: Hi there, so you have a post 9/11 story too, right?
Farrah: Yes. 9/11 was in 2001 and I was a freshman in high school. Just being a Muslim woman, at that point I was not wearing the hijab, it affected my decision and I know a lot of other young girls on whether they wanted to put on the scarf and go to school and go to work. Because doing that, you become the face of Islam and it's wherever you go, people already assume, okay, you're Muslim, you represent that.
That was a constant thing growing up. I'm now in my thirties and married with children and I do wear the scarf, but it was making that decision throughout the years on whether or not I wanted to be representing Islam today, or can I just go on my way and walk freely without having people make assumptions or coming to me and having me to defend Islam.
That definitely affected it. I also wanted to comment going back to the caller, Ben, reminding me of when I had gotten married in 2007 and we had moved to Florida. That was the first time that my husband was walking around or driving around with a hijabi beside him. That's when he first came to the realization of the amount of, I guess, racism or discrimination that Muslim women were dealing with because that's when he started to notice the stares or the whispers or people just treating him differently.
Whereas before, being a Muslim man, you might have a beard, but you may look Hispanic or people might not really judge your faith on the way that you look, whereas Muslim women wearing a scarf, that's just an obvious thing. I do think that men, they didn't really face the brunt of it, although I know many of them did based on their name or whatnot. Whereas Muslim women, I feel like it was very much a struggle emotionally and how you wanted to or chose to practice your faith and the relationship you had with God and the love that you had for your religion, it's like you go back and forth.
Brian Lehrer: I hear you. Farrah, thank you very much. As we run out of time in the segment, Rowaida, I don't want to make this a battle of the sexist, but she talked about the more visible expression of Islam that people might see in women's garbs, and so they might suffer the brunt of public discrimination, but for men, it maybe came more in the realm of law enforcement than women had to deal with. I wonder if you could comment on that and anything else you want to say just to wrap up the segment?
Rowaida Abdelaziz: Yes, you absolutely nailed it. Muslim women, especially visibly Muslim women, definitely faced the day-to-day brunt of Islamophobia. We mentioned the gendered Islamophobia, I think the white savior complex. Again, a lot of those narratives were also tied to the war on terror and this concept of saving brown women and liberating brown women in a very narrow sense. They were easy targets on the streets because they wore visible markers of their faith.
When it came to Muslim men, yes, of course, they could be racially ambiguous, no visible markers on their faith for the most part, but they face the brunt of, like you mentioned, the policies put in place. When we think about NSEERS, for example, which was the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System that was put in 2002 during the Bush administration, required non-citizens, mostly men and boys, to register into a system that also included fingerprinting, photo-taking and required them to regularly check-in with immigration officials.
Brian Lehrer: Just if they came from certain countries, right?
Rowaida Abdelaziz: Yes, 25 countries that were all majority Muslim except for one, North Korea, at the time, but it targeted males, 16 years and older, from those 25 countries. When we talk about when that later worked into the surveillance program that especially we saw it in New York City under Bloomberg that was exposed in 2011. Going to the mosques, talking to the bodega owners, taking photos of license plates, that also disproportionately affected men as well. Again, continues to warp through the counter-violence program, the CPE program in 2015.
The Muslim ban later under the Trump administration, racial profiling at the airports. Young men and boys were also criminalized because, again, back to that stereotype that they were seen that they were more likely to become perpetrators of violence and others of other racial identities. The breadth, I think, of the anti-Muslim rhetoric that really skyrocketed after 9/11, and we continue to see the remanence of today really impacts different segments of the Muslim population in so many ways.
We're talking about the impact on the ground and the stress that it had on young folks with the impact of folks who were immigrants, folks who were native to this country. They all respond to it very differently, but I think recognizing and reckoning with the breadth of the situation, I think will help us learn key takeaways and lessons. Not only just solve the problem and try to minimize racism, xenophobia, anti-Muslim rhetoric as much as we can, but to make sure we do better from a policy and institutional level in the future. I think that's what all of us hope for.
Brian Lehrer: Rowaida Abdelaziz, national reporter for HuffPost based in New York. Thanks so much for joining us on the September 10th.
Rowaida Abdelaziz: Thank you so much for having me.
New York Public Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline, often by contractors. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of New York Public Radio’s programming is the audio record.