Islamaphobia’: A Forum

In early January, anti-Islam posters went up in the subways of New York. They depict the twin towers, engulfed in flames, with the words, “Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the unbelievers.” The posters, or advertisements, were put up by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which purchased ad space in thirty-nine subway stations across New York City. When passengers look up to check the time on 228 of the subway system’s clocks, they will see the ads. It is not the first time such posters have gone up, and it won’t be the last.

In the years since 9/11, anti-Islam sentiment seems to have grown, with the media only fueling the public fury and fear. Why was the Ground Zero mosque—which was several blocks from Ground Zero—named such by the media? Why does the New York subway condone hate advertisements? Why are school shooters described in the media simply as “school shooter,” and Muslim aggressors only ever as “terrorist”? All these are question that have been discussed and debated, to exhaustion, but evidently, inexhaustibly. With each public debate comes the opportunity to cast a more nuanced light on an issue that is too frequently written off with absolutes.

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