Axis Of Terror

Reason and law is no match in times of fear, and doubt.

The Day Night Fell

On September 11, 2001, 19 activists associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four aircrafts and carried out suicide attacks against the United States ("9/11 Attacks").The first attack, struck at 8:45 a.m. an American Airlines Boeing 767 loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City ("9/11 Attacks").The collision left a burning hole near the 80th floor, instantaneously killing hundreds of people and trapping hundreds more on higher floors ("9/11 Attacks").As the evacuation of both towers was underway, television cameras broadcasted the incident. Then, 18 minutes later a second Boeing 767 appeared in the sky, flying directly towards the World Trade Center and crashed into the south tower near the 60th floor ("9/11 Attacks"). The collision caused a massive explosion. At 9:45 a.m. a third plane circled over downtown Washington, D.C., and crashed into the west side of the Pentagon ("9/11 Attacks").Jet fuel from the airliner caused the collapse of a portion of the concrete building.125 military personnel and civilians were killed in the Pentagon, along with all 64 passenger aboard the plane ("9/11 Attacks").In less than an hour, both towers of the World Trade Center collapsed into a cloud of dust and smoke. Close to 3,000 people died in the World Trade Center, including 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority police officers that were struggling to evacuate the buildings in order to save the office workers trapped on higher floor ("9/11 Attacks"). Almost 10,000 others were treated for injuries. Meanwhile, a fourth plane flipped over and sped toward the ground crashing in a empty field in western Pennsylvania at 10:10 a.m. ("9/11 Attacks"). It is said that the passengers fought off the four hijackers and are suspected to have attacked the cockpit with a fire extinguisher ("9/11 Attacks").All 45 valiant passengers died.According to fugitive Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terrorist organization, this catastrophic event was supposedly acting as retaliation for America’s support of Israel, its involvement in the Persian Gulf War and its military presence in the Middle East ("9/11 Attacks").

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On September 20, 2001, President George W. Bush addressed a joint session of Congress to discuss the United States, response to the terrorist attacks of September 11.

George W. Bush

The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the thwarted flight against the White House or Capitol on September 11, 2001, in which thousands of innocent Americans died, transformed George W. Bush into a wartime president ("George W. Bush"). He formed a new Department of Homeland Security, sent American forces into Afghanistan to break up the Taliban and succeeded ("George W. Bush"). Bush did everything in his power to defend his country from any fear of invasion. He stood by what he said on September 20th 2001, “But the only way to defeat terrorism as a threat to our way of life is to stop it, eliminate it, and destroy it where it grows” (Bush).

Fear Is Universal

One major reoccurring theme in The Crucible is, “accusations based upon faulty evidence arise and flourish during times of fear, uncertainty, and crisis" (Grossman). This theme is an appropriate argument when dealing with the backlash against Muslims in America after September 11. According to the FBI, “ hate crimes against Muslims increased by a staggering 1,600% in 2001” (Friedersdorf). This statistic supports how accusations can arise during times of turmoil. People will do whatever is necessary to feel secure. Authority figures in The Crucible were fixated on purifying their village of the “devil”. They did not care if their accusations were lawful. Hale supports this assertion by stating, “Let you not mistake your duty as I mistook my own. I came into this village… bearing gifts of high religion… what I touched with my bright confidence, it died; and where I turned the eye of my great faith, blood flowed up. Beware, Goody Proctor - cleave to no faith when faith brings blood. It is mistaken law that leads you to sacrifice” (Miller 132). Authority figures wanted to find the “criminals” responsible for the witchcraft wandering their village. It did not matter if those convicted were innocent or guilty. They solely cared to condemn someone for the sake of their town’s, tranquility. These incidents are somewhat relatable to the aftermath of September 11. In The Crucible, people took extreme measure to find peace; they murdered innocent and faithful people in order to end witchcraft. The villagers where obsessed with the trials, they denied any evidence that would create tension between the legitimacy of the hearings. Danforth, the main judge of these prosecutions, rejected any evidence that might have clashed with his ruling, “You misunderstand, sir; I cannot pardon these when twelve are already hanged for the same crime. It is not just”(Miller 129). Danforth’s statement also validates the notion of fear destroying the village. The village was consumed by the hysteria. The backlash after September 11 is not as extreme. However, innocent American Muslims continue to be targeted, similar to the victims targeted by The Crucible. For example, on November 9, 2006 a college student named Adeela Khan logged on to her email and found a message about an upcoming Islamic Conference. She then forwarded the message to a group of fellow Muslims at the university. This simple action spurred suspicion of an intelligence analyst at the New York Police Department. Her posts and name were placed in an official report (Friedersdorf). Ten years after September 11, a survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, shows that a majority of Muslims stated that the terrorist attacks made it more difficult to live in the United States (Morello). Many said that security officers have singled them out at airports, and people became suspicious of them (Morello). The stereotype that all Muslims are connected to extremists and must be treated as criminals, is wrong. According to the survey, Muslim advocacy groups have spoken out repeatedly against extremists, but the American public does not hear about it (Morello). In The Crucible such stereotypes were also apparent, “ I knew it! Goody Osburn were midwife to me three times. I begged you, Thomas, did I not? I begged him not to call Osburn because I feared her. My babies always shriveled in her hands!” (Miller 47) Mrs. Putnam had already suspected and stereotyped Goody Osburn without a proper trial. The stereotype of witches being females stimulated the accusations. However, fear and uncertainty contributed to the growth of stereotypes. The women in Salem feared for their lives. This is the same situation for American Muslims. They fear that Americans are going to react negatively against them because of the stereotypes revolving around them. Stereotypes make life more problematic and bring forth negative consequences. The fear that the bureaucrats carried in The Crucible is similar to the fear that some Americans have against Muslims. Fear consumes people and can cause them to perform immoral actions.


"9/11 Attacks." A&E Television Networks. Web. 6 Dec. 2014. <>.

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Friedersdorf, Conor. "Was There Really a Post-9/11 Backlash Against Muslims?" The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 4 May 2012. Web. 6 Dec. 2014. <>.

"Journal OfMuslim Mental Health." Attitudes Toward Muslim Americans Post-9/11. Web. 6 Dec. 2014. <;view=fulltext>.

Miller, Arthur. "The Crucible." Web. 8 Dec. 2014. < Crucible - Arthur Miller .pdf>.

Morello, Carol. "Muslim Americans Say Life Is More Difficult since 9/11." Washington Post. The Washington Post. Web. 7 Dec. 2014. <>.