The Sept. 11 tragedy undoubtedly shook and re-structured the core of the American experience. While Islamophobia predated the 9/11 attacks, there is no doubt that Muslim communities, and those who were mislabeled as Muslims, saw an increase of faith and race-based harassment, violence, murders, surveillance and incarceration since the attacks.
With the up-strike of social media networks in the years following the attacks, the popularity of sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram created an auto-reporting culture that encouraged the swift exchange of news, ideas, and analysis.
Here are the some of the leading #hashtags that have helped Muslims and allies take control of their own narratives, in contrast to some of the most salient Islamophobic trends of the last 15 years.
1. July 2016 — #CanYouHearUsNow
The 2016 Democratic National Convention welcomed the parents of a fallen Muslim-American soldier to the stage. Presidential candidate, Donald Trump, targeted the silence of the soldier’s mother, Ghazala Khan, at the DNC.
Muslim women took to social media highlighting their voice and irrevocable contributions to the community with #CanYouHearUsNow
Tweeted/Re-Tweeted Approx. 500,000 Times
2. March 2016 — #VetsVsHate & #VETSvsISLAMOPHOBIA
Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War have come together to launch a campaign titled “Veterans Challenge Islamophobia,” in a direct commitment to the values embedded in the US Constitution – religious freedom, equality, and individual rights.
Tweeted/Re-Tweeted Approx. 300,000 Times
3. December 2015 — #MuslimAmericanFaces
Following the San Bernardino shootings, Donald Trump proposed a “total and complete shutdown” of US borders to Muslim’s entering the United States. #MuslimAmericanFaces was launched by a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute to humanize Muslim Americans.
Tweeted/Re-Tweeted Approx. 9,000 + Times
4. December 2015 — #WeAreAllMuslim
Similarly in response to Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims (above), Michael Moore protested in front of the iconic Trump Tower with a simple sign and accompanying letter stating that “… if you want to ban Muslims, you are first going to have to ban me. And everyone else. We are all Muslim. Just as we are all Mexican, we are all Catholic and Jewish and white and black and every shade in between.”
Tweeted/Re-Tweeted Approx. 380,000 Times
5. November 2015 — #MuslimsAreNotTerrorists
In response to the coordinated cross-Paris attacks conducted by ISIS, Muslims and non-Muslims took to social media to condemn the Islamic states interpretation of the faith.
Tweeted/Re-Tweeted Approx. 500 Times
6. September 2015 — #IStandWithAhmed
#IStandWithAhmed harnessed the disbelief of a nation when a 14 year old high-school was arrested and questioned without a lawyer present after engineering a clock, and showing off at school.
Tweeted/Re-Tweeted Approx. 150,000 Times
7. December 2014 — #IllRideWithYou
After attacks by Muslims, rise in Islamophobic hate-crimes and retaliation increase significantly. The climate for Muslims is worse now, than perhaps any time post 9/11. In Sydney, ordinary citizens showed the world just how to treat Muslim’s after a hostage situation in a local café by pledging to ride or walk with them (or anyone in religious attire) if they felt unsafe.
Tweeted/Re-Tweeted Approx. 10,500 Times
8. September 2014 — #NotInMyName
U.K.-based Active Change Foundation launched a campaign condemning the violence falsely perpetuated in the name of Islam by ISIS. #NotInMyName has since been adopted in response to the coordinated ISIS terrorist attacks targeting Paris in 2015.
Tweeted/Re-Tweeted Approx. 2,100,000 + Times
9. March 2014 — #TakeOnHate
The National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) launched a multi-year campaign to cultivate positive perceptions of Muslim-Americans and refugees, while generating local and national policy shifts with the hashtag #TakeOnHate. The campaign is accompanied by a resource website by the National Network for Arab American Communities. Prominent Palestinian-American activist, and Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York, Linda Sarsour, is a co-creator of the campaign.
Tweeted/Re-Tweeted Approx. 70,000 + Times
10. September 2012 — #MuslimRage
Anti-Islam activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s piece in Newsweek lauded the non-satirical title “Muslim Rage.” In response to her guidelines on how “we,” America, could “end it,” Muslim’s took to social media to share why they were so ENRAGED.
Tweeted/Re-Tweeted Approx. 3,600 + Times
Written by Muslim Girl Staff Writer Sepideah Mohsenian-Rahman