Discrimination against arab-americans post-9/11 research paper sample

Since the horrors of 9/11, and in particular since it was revealed that Al-Qi-Ida were responsible, Arab Americans have been the subject of discrimination in America. The extent to which the discrimination is occurring is uncertain, and opinions on the subject vary. There have been reports of the numbers of hate crimes and discrimination against Arab-Americans, both prior to 9/11 and afterwards. Furthermore, there has been research and media interest into how police departments in different states treat ethnic minorities, including Arab-Americans. While discrimination against Arab-Americans is now less than it was immediately after 9/11, it is still a more frequent problem than before the terrorist attack.
Following 9/11, there was a sudden surge in discrimination and crimes committed against Arab Americans. Since then such crimes and bad treatment has been slowly decreasing, but the incidences still remain more frequent than before the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers (Tanenbaum).
According Tanenbaum’s article, Arab Americans continue to experience discrimination: “ in the media, in schools and workplaces, at airports, and during border crossings into the United States.”    Wrongdoings within some police departments, such as racial profiling and illegal imprisonment of Arab Americans, are also named as problems.
Data reveals that in the 1990s,  the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) took an average of seventy to eighty reports annually concerning violence or discrimination against this ethnic minority group. However, since 2002, this number of complaints has risen dramatically to around 120-130 annually (Tanenbaum).
While the reports from the ADC are reliable and credible, it is possible that the numbers of hate crime and discrimination incidents may in fact be higher, as many incidents of this type do not get reported. Victims of crimes such as these are not always aware that something illegal is taking place, and some people do not know how to go about reporting it. Furthermore, in areas where police departments have demonstrated discrimination against Arab-Americans, it is possible that some people who have been victims will be reluctant to approach the police, for fear of not being believed, or of reporting the crime making matters worse in the long-run.
Federal law describes hate crime as the following: “ a criminal act that is motivated by race, color, religion, or nation origin. Hate crimes may be committed against a person, property, or society” (Tanenbaum).
Brad Plumer’s article, “ Eight Facts about Terrorism in the United States,” makes for interesting reading. It begins by briefly touching on the recent Boston bombings before going on to discuss terrorism in general, with relation to the United States. As the title suggests, the author lists eight facts about terrorism. An interesting fact is that types of organised groups which carry out such attacks have become increasingly diverse. This is an important point as, particularly more recently, some people may assume that all terrorist attacks are by Al-Qa-Ida whereas, in fact, this group is ranked number five (Plumer). This common misconception can lead to discrimination against Arab-Americans. The colour of their skin can cause many people to suspect them of having terrorist tendencies, or at least that they may be supporters of terrorists.
In the same way, many people may believe that the States suffers the most terrorist attacks in the world. However, one of Plumer’s facts states that America suffers far fewer than most other areas around the globe (Plumer).
A highly debated police action is the stop and frisk search. According to The Legal Dictionary: “ This type of limited search occurs when police confront a suspicious person in an effort to prevent a crime from taking place. The police frisk (pat down) the person for weapons and question the person.”
Recently, the stop and frisk procedure has caused great controversy in the States, as accusations have been made that police officials only target people of certain races. Ryan Devereaux from The Guardian reports that a milestone lawsuit has accused the New York police department of carrying out an extensive and premeditated pattern of unlawful stops that are excessively aimed at minorities, including Arab Americans (Devereaux). The police department has dismissed allegations that race is any part of his officers’ agendas: ” The quota allegations are a sideshow,” city attorney Heidi Grossman said in opening statements Monday. ” Crime drives where police officers go Not race” (Devereaux).
The department has stopped and frisked around 5 million individuals throughout the past ten years. The department statistics reveals that the overwhelming majority of people approached are of ethnic minorities, most of which are young men. Over the last few years only one in ten people have then been summoned or arrested following the frisk (Devereaux).
While the data supports the accusation that the police are targeting people based on their race, Grossman’s point is valid: that police are more prevalent in areas which crime is higher. It would be interesting to view data of racial proportions which reside and work in the same areas. In other words, if the police are operating in an area of the city which is largely Latino, the chances are that most people they stop and frisk with be Latino. However without data to explain this, it does appear that minorities such as Arab Americans are being discriminated against by some police departments.
More generally, some people believe the stop and frisk regime is an infringement of their human rights. People have reported feeling embarrassed and belittled as a result of being approached and patted down in the street by police. While this is arguably understandable, it is important that individual’s objecting to the procedure remember the reasons for the police carrying it out.
When terrorist attacks occur, many people are quick to assume that Arab-Americans are to blame. However, this is often not the case. Furthermore, some police departments have been accused of approaching those of ethnic minorities for more stop and frisk than seems fair. As reports show, hate crimes against Arab-Americans are high in frequency following the attacks on the Twin Towers. It seems clear that while the incidences of hate crimes against Arab Americans has reduced in recent years, it is still much higher than before 9/11. Discrimination against Arab-Americans very much exists, both in America and in other areas around the world. This discrimination has arguably been happening for many years, but it is conclusive that it has increased as a result of 9/11. The data does not reveal anything about the perpetrators of such hate crimes and poor treatment, so it is difficult to suggest methods of improving the problem. However, with many issues of discrimination, perhaps more awareness needs to be raised, in schools, in the media, and through other sources. A stand needs to be made against discrimination against Arab-Americans.

Works Cited

American Arab Non-Discrimination Committee. 2013. Web. 20 April 2013. http://www. adc. org/
The Free Legal Dictionary. “ Stop and Frisk.” 2013. Web. 20 April 2013.
http://legal-dictionary. thefreedictionary. com/Stop+and+Frisk
“ Devereaux, R. NYPD officers testify stop-and-frisk policy driven by quota system and race.” The Guardian. March 2013. Web. 20 April 2013. http://www. guardian. co. uk/world/2013/mar/22/nypd-stop-frisk-quota-race
Plumer, B. “ Eight Facts about Terrorism in the United States.” Washington Post. 16 April 2013. Web. 17 April 2013. http://www. washingtonpost. com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/04/16/eight-facts-about-            terrorism-in-the-united-states
Tanenbaum, K. “ Hate Crimes and Discrimination against Arab Americans Still up from Pre-9/11 Levels.” The Leadership Conference. 2008. Web. 18 April 2013. http://www. civilrights. org/hatecrimes/united-states/050-arab-hate-crimes. html