S., Osama bin Laden has been often related to homosexuality and sodomy in the years following the 9/11 incident. Those taking part in the process of linking terrorists to deviant sexual behaviors did not realize that they were, in fact, addressing a much greater number of minorities. People could have the feeling that their reluctance to pro-war convictions would suggest that they tend to display homosexual tendencies. Moreover, those that actually had homosexual affinities became harshly discriminated against because of their presumed similarity to terrorists. Brown skin had also become a main reason for people to be discriminated. This amount of distrust showed toward groups that had no connection whatsoever with terrorist attacks actually worked in favor of mobilizing the whole nation against the deranged terrorists. One can almost say that the unfounded connections made between terrorists and deviant sexual behavior had been a marketing solution to the problem. U.S. citizens were tricked into thinking that some of the most antisocial behaviors had a lot to do with terrorism.
To some level, heterosexuality is considered to be related to nationalism in the U.S. The masses are easy to control, especially when one knows exactly what they like and what they don't like. People lacking a good education feel that most information coming from the authorities and from the media is perfectly trustworthy and that there is no need for them to attempt to contradict it.
When an entire country is turned against a minority, it is extremely difficult for someone to bring things back to normal. The respective minority is attacked through every possible means and the perpetrators feel as if there is nothing to stop them from expressing their extreme dislike. The general public has been constantly fed with anti-terrorist and anti-Muslim propaganda linking the attacks to homosexuality ever since the 9/11 events. This campaign of misinformation succeeded in accomplishing exactly what its advocates wanted it to.
It did not seem strange that the American authorities had suddenly become interested in the way that Afghans treated their women. The U.S. has a history in discriminating certain minorities, in spite of the fact that it promotes freedom and equality. However, there have been a small number of American citizens actually interested in getting actively involved in the singling out of others. American leaders took advantage of the 9/11 opportunity to present terrorism under a very different form, persuading people that their hatred for various minorities can be related to anti-terrorism.
Homosexual communities have felt the effects of the 9/11 materializing into the fact that streets no longer provided them with a safe place for them to be in. This happened in spite of the fact that the gay groups reporting an increased mistreatment as a result of U.S. citizens being influenced by the media have not had the slightest resemblance to actual terrorists. It would have been partially logical for them to be harshly discriminated against provided they would have fitted other patterns, like having a brown colored skin, coming from South Asia, or being Muslim. Moreover, among the groups claiming that they were persecuted in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, there had also been whites, Latinos, and several other randomly chosen people that posed no threat to the national security of the U.S. It seemed as if the government and virtually the whole population had been determined to intimidate anyone that...
Patriotism, Nationalism, and white supremacy have experienced a steady rise for some years among U.S. citizens. This movement has created opportunities of mainly widening the gap between the white and the rest of the population. On the other hand, it can be considered that the propaganda following the terrorist attacks reported a partial success. It became almost impossible for the real terrorists to walk unnoticed across the country. The authorities along with the whole nation were on guard, suspecting anyone that appeared to be out of the ordinary.
When issuing messages intended to inform the public of the dangerous terrorists lurking in their back yards, the government and the media did not detailed the premises for the anti-terrorist campaigns considering their potentially dangerous consequences for their minorities. The public acted in accordance without knowing how to analyze and interpret the news, encouraged to hate all those who were different in some way. The ones to blame are actually the authorities, as through misleading and often hysteric campaigns manipulated the masses without really considering the massive negative effects of such inflationist encouragements of hatred.
After having reported some success in their antidiscrimination campaign, homosexuals are rapidly losing ground in the U.S. with the regions where they formerly became an integral part becoming unwelcoming again. In the years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, the police were struggling to keep them off the streets and each group of suspects was treated with little to no respect. At some point, matters have advanced uncontrollably, with people reaching a phase of complete irrationality when it concerned their judgment of those who were potentially harmful and those who were completely innocent in the area of terrorist activities.
The bottom line is that one cannot simply categorize a person as being a potential terrorist from his or her appearance. Hetero-normative principles are at the core of discrimination, concomitantly providing people with enthusiasm in the fight against terrorism. For the American masses, the fight against terrorism virtually meant isolating groups of people depending on their race and their sexual preferences.
Wars are different today, they are fought through several methods, each more intriguing than the other. It is apparently vital to express homophobic principles in the war against terrorism, since this makes it possible for more and more people to get actively involved in the course of action, feeling that they should protect normative principles.
1. Akram Susan M., "The Aftermath of September 11, 2001: The Targeting of Arabs and Muslims in America," Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ).
2. Malansan V, Martin F. "Race, Violence, and Neoliberal Spatial Politics in the Global City"
3. Puar, Jasbir K; Rai, Amit S. "Monster, Terrorist, Fag: The War on Terrorism
and the Production of Docile Patriots"
4. Simon Jonathan, "Governing through Crime: How the War on Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture of Fear" (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007) 306.
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