US Muslims make great gains in 20 years since 9/11: Newsweek

US Muslims make great gains in 20 years since 9/11: Newsweek
2 min read
Washington, D.C.
06 September, 2021
Newsweek reports that since 9/11, Muslim Americans have made considerable gains – they remain a vulnerable population.
Muslim Americans have made notable gains since 9/11 [Getty]

On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, Newsweek has published an in-depth overview of the advancements of Muslims over the past two decades.

The article points to high-profile figures who have reached some of the top positions in their fields, including a non-binary politician in the deep red state of Oklahoma, an NFL (National Football League) coach, as well as TV and movie stars.

Most of these successful Muslims are millennials who were children during 9/11. They experienced the widespread discrimination that was the aftermath of the attacks, and drew on the momentum of activism sparked by an increasingly hostile environment.

Despite this new era of Muslim visibility and activism, anti-Muslim sentiment remains high in the US. According to a Gallup poll, a third of Americans and nearly two-thirds of Republicans would not vote for a Muslim political candidate.

In the midst of this current era in which hostility toward Muslims remains commonplace, there has been a surge in Muslim immigration to the US. Between 2002 and 2016, the number of Muslim refugees to the US rose 627 percent – from around 6,000 a year to almost 40,000, the Newsweek article notes.

This dropped sharply under Donald Trump, whose administration cut the number of refugees to 12,000 total, almost all Christian.

The growing visibility of Muslims has made for a more informed American public, many of whom have become outspoken allies when they see acts of discrimination.

Muslims themselves, many from conservative backgrounds, have shattered stereotypes in recent years. One notable example is the clear preference in the community for Bernie Sanders – a progressive Jew who supports LGBTQ+ rights – over other candidates in the last presidential election.

Nevertheless, with all of these advancements over the past 20 years, a fear remains among some that another 9/11-scale terrorist attack or the re-election of Trump could reverse much of the community’s gains.