9/11 Families Sponsor Anti-Islamophobia Campaign for Anniversary of Tragedy; Study Claims Islamophobia Is on the Rise in US

American Muslims at an anti-Islamophobia rally in New York.
American Muslims at an anti-Islamophobia rally in New York. | (Photo: Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi)

The organization September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows has launched a campaign against Islamophobia through a new bus ad promoting religious tolerance and interfaith unity in New York City. This comes just after a recent poll conducted by the Arab American Institute shows that Americans have an increasingly negative attitude toward Muslims in the United States.

"We wanted to make a clear statement that our 9/11 family members do not want to promote fear and hatred in our names," said Peaceful Tomorrows Project Director Terry Greene, whose brother died aboard United Flight 93, to HuffPost. "We believe that unity and interfaith tolerance are the path forward to a more peaceful tomorrow."

The push comes as recent polling data from the Arab American Institute reflect an increase in negative reactions to Muslims by Americans.

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"Since we first began our polling on American attitudes toward Arabs and Muslims in 2010, there has been continued erosion in the favorable ratings given to both communities, posing a threat to the rights of Arab Americans and American Muslims," explained the report.

"Favorable attitudes have continued to decline, from 43 percent in 2010 to 32 percent in 2014 for Arabs; and from 35 percent in 2010 to 27 percent in 2014 for Muslims," he added.

Christian website Charisma News was recently removed an article it published last week titled "Why I Am Absolutely Islamophobic" by Gary Cass after public backlash.

In the article, still accessible on, Cass asserts that Christians and Muslims cannot co-exist, noting the situation unfolding in the Middle East where Christians are being slaughtered and driven out of communities where they had coexisted with Muslims for centuries.

"I confess, I'm 'Islamophobic,' but for very good reasons," declared Cass. "My fear is not an irrational fear based on uniformed prejudice; rather it's an historic, clear eyed, informed, rational fear. ISIS is doing to American journalists what every true follower of Mohammed wants to do to you and yours; subjugate or murder you. They believe they have been given a mandate by Allah (Satan) to dominate the world," he said.

September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows is seeking to raise $10,000 on to pay for ads to be placed on New York City buses to fight "anti-Muslim behaviors," but as of Monday afternoon the campaign had only raised $100 of that projected amount.

"By developing and advocating nonviolent options and actions in the pursuit of justice, we hope to break the cycles of violence engendered by war and terrorism. Acknowledging our common experience with all people affected by violence throughout the world, we work to create a safer and more peaceful world for everyone," the group noted in their campaign.

"Since 9/11 our families have despaired as hate crimes have been perpetrated against Muslims as well as Sikhs and others appearing to be of Middle Eastern descent. We stand united to firmly assert that this must end," continued the group's campaign summary in part.

Just last month, an investigation by the American Civil Liberties Union highlighted a previously unknown program, which began in 2008 under the George W. Bush administration, to identify Muslims with links to terrorism. The program has since continued under President Barack Obama.

According to the ACLU investigation, the program blacklists law-abiding applicants and profiles Muslims as "national security concerns."

"Under a previously-unknown national security program, USCIS secretly excludes many of those aspiring Americans from Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian communities from the promises of citizenship, legal residency, asylum, and other benefits by delaying and denying their applications without legal authority," explained the ACLU report.

"For years, and without notice to applicants, their lawyers, or the public at large, USCIS has been blacklisting law-abiding applicants as 'national security concerns' based on lawful religious activity, national origin, and innocuous associations," it continued.

"Once blacklisted, these aspiring Americans are barred from obtaining immigration benefits to which they are legally entitled. As a result, by putting their applications on indefinite hold or rejecting them for unfounded reasons, thousands of law-abiding immigrants have had their dreams of citizenship and other immigration status dashed, without ever being told why their applications were treated differently than others," it noted.

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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