Perspective: September 11: Uphill Battle to Counter Bitter Legacies of Horror; Islam Found Itself Linked with Terrorism in the Wake of the September 11 Attacks, Prompting Reprisals against Ordinary Muslims. Chief Feature Writer Paul Groves Talks to Some of Birmingham's Leading Figures about Breaking That Perceived Connection between Religion and Terror

The Birmingham Post (England), September 11, 2002 | Go to article overview

Perspective: September 11: Uphill Battle to Counter Bitter Legacies of Horror; Islam Found Itself Linked with Terrorism in the Wake of the September 11 Attacks, Prompting Reprisals against Ordinary Muslims. Chief Feature Writer Paul Groves Talks to Some of Birmingham's Leading Figures about Breaking That Perceived Connection between Religion and Terror


In the last 12 months, sales of the Koran have soared. Interest in Islam and those who follow this ancient religion has never been greater. The Queen has even visited a British mosque for the first time in her 50-year reign.

In the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the United States, there were dark warnings of a worldwide backlash against Islam after it was confirmed that Osama bin Laden and his al Qaida network were behind the outrage of September 11.

Speculation, rumour and suspicion became the order of the day as Muslims and the symbols of their faith came under scrutiny. For some they became objects of both conjecture and anger.

Mosques, community centres or even those wearing clothing perceived to be similar to the world's new hate figure were signs to some of approval at the terrible loss of life.

Many incidents were suspected of being a thinly-veiled mask for deeper, underlying racist sentiments, and they were not ignored by Britain's 1.8 million Muslims.

Khalid Mahmood, England's first Muslim MP, likened the undercurrent of fear to that endured by the Irish community after the IRA's bombing campaign on the British mainland in the 1970s.

About 150,000 of the estimated million people in Birmingham are Muslim, with a high proportion living in Mr Mahmood's Perry Barr constituency.

'There was quite a lot of apprehension, from both younger and older people,' he said. 'One of the fears I felt from people on the streets was that they could be perceived as being responsible for the attacks.'

Twelve months on, therefore, have we seen a wholesale shift in the relationship between Islam and non-Muslims? Does the spectre of Islamophobia loom larger, post-September 11?

Recriminations did begin to materialise following September 11 and a variety of reasons have been proffered.

Some cite deep-seated racism and Islamophobia being given a convenient platform. Others blame politicians and the media.

Dr Mohammed Naseem, chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque, sees terminology as playing a role by specifically allying terrorism with Islam.

'No other terrorists are described by reference to their religion. That was one departure which is still being pursued,' he said.

'Naturally, the public chased it and believed that Muslims had got something to do with terrorism.'

A leading expert on the Islamic faith and its relations with the non-Muslim world believes this is half true.

'During the 1960s, 70s and early 80s, in terms of terrorism, people talked about Irish Republicanism or Palestinians because that is what the terrorists called themselves,' said Jorgen Nielsen, professor of Islamic studies in the Centre for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations (CSIC), at the University of Birmingham. 'People did not talk about Catholic terrorism in Northern Ireland because they did not refer to themselves as such.

'In one sense, therefore, Dr Naseem is right. This is the only terrorist phenomenon that has been identified by a particular religion.

'But then following, September 11 and following various other incidents in recent years, terrorists have identified themselves with Islam.'

Prof Nielsen, who is also director of the theology department's Graduate Institute for Theology and Religion, acknowledged there was a tendency for the public to associate every aspect of the religion with terrorism.

He highlighted the findings of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC). Across the whole of Europe, increased hostility towards Islam was recorded, with a prolonged upsurge of verbal and physical attacks on Muslims.

Common themes were also identified, such as the fact that the headscarf worn by many Muslim women became a way for culprits to choose their targets. Equally, men wearing turbans also found themselves targeted. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Perspective: September 11: Uphill Battle to Counter Bitter Legacies of Horror; Islam Found Itself Linked with Terrorism in the Wake of the September 11 Attacks, Prompting Reprisals against Ordinary Muslims. Chief Feature Writer Paul Groves Talks to Some of Birmingham's Leading Figures about Breaking That Perceived Connection between Religion and Terror
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.