The Terror Trap: The Impact of the War on Terror on Muslim Communities Since 9/11


Date published: Fri, 8 October 21

On October 7, 2021, 20 years since the U.S. launched the War in Afghanistan as part of its Global War on Terror, a group of seven civil society and research organizations*, including ICNA Council for Social Justice (ICNA-CSJ), are releasing a detailed report on the impact and consequences of the War on Terror.

In The Terror Trap: The Impact of the War on Terror on Muslim Communities Since 9/11, thirty international scholars provide a critical assessment of the U.S-led “counterterrorism” apparatus and its policies and tactics, which have criminalized and securitized Muslims in the U.S. and around the world.

The report examines the various dimensions of the so-called War on Terror, and its devastating impact on communities and nations worldwide. Some of the topics explored include the racist history of targeting minorities in the U.S.; the roots of the “terrorism” industry; the role of the Islamophobia industry in exploiting post-9/11 fears; the restructuring of the national security and surveillance state; the use of torture, rendition, black sites, Guantanamo Bay prison, and drone warfare; Countering Violent Extremism programs; the destructive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; the destruction of Muslim civil liberties through the policies of infiltration, entrapment, and manufacturing crime; and further repression of American Muslims through the use of “terrorism” sentencing enhancement and discriminatory prison conditions.

The report also documents the human impact of these policies, focusing on the widespread harm and trauma that has been caused, and often not documented, on communities, individuals, and families that were placed under suspicion. The report then seeks to provide a new way of thinking about abolishing the War on Terror as well as providing a pathway for communities to reflect on their current engagement with the structures of policing and counterterrorism. Finally, the report provides detailed recommendations signaling the need for systemic changes at almost every level.

Please find the full report here.

*Coalition of organizations: the Coalition for Civil Freedoms, The Bridge Initiative, ICNA Council for Social Justice (ICNA-CSJ), CAGE, The Center for Islam and Global Affairs, the Muslim Justice League, and United Voices for America.

For media contact:
Rameez Abid
ICNA Council For Socal Justice

Leena Al-Arian
Executive Director, Coalition for Civil Freedoms