HomeSikh AmericansNYT Columnist Under Fire For Tweet Minimizing Islamophobia After 9/11

NYT Columnist Under Fire For Tweet Minimizing Islamophobia After 9/11

Photo by Ed Ritger via Flickr Creative Commons

Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is being criticized for tweets suggesting that there was very little Islamophobia after 9/11, The Hill reports.

On the morning of the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Krugman tweeted a series of tweets reflecting on America’s response to 9/11. In one of his tweets, Krugman appeared to suggest that there was very little Islamophobia after 9/11.

“Overall, Americans took 9/11 pretty calmly,” Krugman wrote on Twitter. “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…”

Krugman’s tweets were met with widespread criticism.

Arizona House of Representatives member Athena Salman said on Twitter that her family “still suffers from the psychological trauma” of 9/11 to this day. She added that ignoring the “anti-Arab discrimination” and “booming multi-million dollar Islamophobia industry” that grew out of 9/11 “is white supremacy.”

Others spoke directly about hate they experienced. Zara Rahim, a consultant and former director of communications at Vogue, told Krugman that her mosque burned down.

Rahim was referencing a fire at a mosque in Tampa, Florida on the 15th anniversary of 9/11.

FBI data also contradicts Krugman’s perception of anti-Muslim sentiment after 9/11. In 2001, the FBI documented a record 481 hate crimes against American Muslims, according to The New York Times.

The increase in hate and vitriol was not exclusive to Muslim Americans. Many Sikh Americans were victims of anti-Muslim violence and hatred because they wore turbans, causing attackers to mistake them for Muslim Americans. Just a few days after 9/11, a Sikh American was shot to death at a gas station in Mesa, Arizona, according to CNN.

As of Friday afternoon, Krugman has yet to respond to the criticism he has received.

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