After 9/11, brown people were frequently attacked for being unpatriotic, darker, bilingual, and irresponsible. Asghar brings up many of these moments she experienced in her poetry, mentioning how difficult it was for her to learn English as a second language while students around her were ostracizing her for being brown. There is evidence showing that hate crimes against Muslims in the United States spiked incredibly after the attacks on 9/11, with nearly 500 crimes happening in 2001. The crime data since then has also shown that the anti-Muslim attacks have not gone down to their pre-9/11 levels, although they have decreased in the years since the incident. Any person who looked brown, whether they were Arab-Americans or not, faced the prejudice that was so strongly enforced through American media and cultural changes that developed in the months after the attack. Combined with an increasing curiosity about Arab-American people, everybody in the United States wanted to know about the “people who had irrevocably altered American life” (75).
Political turmoil has affected brown people living in the United States as well, and with legislative moves like the Patriot Act, Muslim-Americans have found it difficult to live comfortably under American administration. In recent years, Mosque burnings and terrorist attacks, including the Boston Marathon Bombing, have plagued the Muslim community in the United States and have created an unstable and unsafe attitude throughout the country. In California alone, 56 attacks have been reported since 2012, and an old word resurfaced — Islamophobia. In response, Muslims have participated in the Black Lives Matter movement that has surfaced in the states, and anti-terrorist organizations have developed throughout the country. On another note, India also used counter-terrorist propaganda and growing international concern to “implicate Pakistan in every way possible,” meaning that the effects of 9/11 even went so far as to influence overseas political battles.