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Economist Paul Krugman slammed over tweet denying
mass outbreak of anti-Muslim sentiment following 9/11 Open in fullscreen

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Economist Paul Krugman slammed over tweet denying mass outbreak of anti-Muslim sentiment following 9/11

Hate crimes against Muslim surged after the September 11 attacks [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 September, 2020

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The response to the Nobel Prize winning economist's tweet that Americans took 9/11 "calmly" has been anything but calm.
A New York Times columnist has come under fire for a series of tweets claiming that the 9/11 terror attack did not trigger a "mass outbreak" of Islamophobia and violence.

On the day which marked the attack's 19th anniversary, Paul Krugman compared the number of Americans who had lost their lives in the September 11 atrocity to the specter of the country’s current Covid-19 death toll.

Noting that the pandemic had so far caused 60 times more fatalities than the four coordinated attacks by al-Qaeda militants on that day, Krugman wanted to offer his "thoughts and recollections".

"Overall, American took 9/11 pretty calmly," Krugman said in a tweet that has now amassed over 35,000 quote tweets, most of which were negative.

"Notably, there wasn't a mass outbreak of anti-Muslim sentiment and violence, which could all too easily have happened. And while GW Bush was a terrible president, to his credit he tried to calm prejudice, not feed it," he continued.

With hate crimes surging against Muslims after the attacks, the social media platform was soon awash with responses powerfully rebutting the views of the Nobel Prize winning economist, which users identified as utterly "ahistorical".

Now why are you lying like we weren’t all there???? There was a HUGE “outbreak” of anti-Muslim sentiment & didn’t that kick off what Faux News is today??? 9/11 then Obama running & Faux News (and other networks) being racist...got us to the current maniac in the WH.

"Now why are you lying like we weren’t all there? There was a HUGE 'outbreak' of anti-Muslim sentiment & didn't that kick off what Faux News is today?" One Twitter user said.

"9/11 then Obama running & Faux News (and other networks) being racist...got us to the current maniac in the WH,"  the Twitter user added.

Some Muslims shared their experiences of everyday discrimination in the hostile climate created by Bush's ensuring War on Terror to hammer home the point.

"Notably, my parents had to pull me out of my majority-muslim private school in 2001 because of daily anti-Muslim protests, multiple BOMB threats, and a general societal pressure to assimilate or face the consequences of prejudice. But you're right, overall pretty calm," a Twitter user said.

Another Twitter user said: "I couldn’t go by my full name, Mohammed, for like three years afterwards. And I was 6 years old when it happened. But sure man, there wasn’t any of that."

Another user drew attention to New York mayor Mike Bloomberg's mass surveillance program that spied on and targeted Muslims, which the former presidential candidate this year defended as "the right thing to do".

"Paul, this is wrong," the twitter user said. "It started that very day. Across the country. And by our govt. Also pls read @valariekaur’s See No Stranger to learn abt the deadly wave of anti-Sikh violence (b/c the perpetrators didn’t know/care to know the difference bet Sikhs & Muslims) 9/11 unleashed."

Other users also referred to how non-Muslim were also victims of rampant xenophobia, with numerous cases of members of America's Sikh community being targeted in hate crimes.

"Even heroes of 9/11 were not spared," someone tweeted.

"A Sikh MTA subway conductor in NYC who physically pushed his train to prevent it from going toward the World Trade Center - saving so many lives - was then segregated by the MTA & made to work away from the public bc of his turban & beard."

Krugman's concluding tweet has raised less controversy, noting that America has more to fear from white supremacists than foreign terrorists.

So far, the remark appears unable to absolve him of the anger roused by his initial claim.

Read also: US remembers 9/11 as pandemic changes tribute traditions

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