It all began on the grim day of 9/11. The world watched in horror as four commercial airliners hit U.S. landmarks. The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City collapsed, the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C. was struck and the fourth plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. There were no survivors. Approximately 3,000 men, women and children from nations around the world lost their lives on that fateful day of September 11, 2001. Al-Qaeda, the Osama bin Laden-led militant Islamist group, lay claim to hijacking the planes and the attacks.
The backlash was swift. Almost instantaneously Islam became the Number One enemy of the world. The face of Islam turned into one of terror. Muslims the world over were regarded with deep suspicion and fear. It did not matter that Muslims also suffered casualty; the Western world immediately regarded them a security risk. Everything involving Islam and Muslims was suspect and suspicious, no matter where they came from, who they were or how they were dressed.
Islamophobia had begun.