In the 1990s, the demise of the Soviet Union as the “evil empire” (as President Ronald Reagan named it in 1983) left a void in American political life that has been partially filled by a sporadic antagonism towards certain Muslim nations. Foreign policy crises have coincided with an influx of Muslims into the United States and popular revulsion at the antiwhite rhetoric of the American Nation of Islam. An oil crisis created in the 1970s when Arab oil-producing nations raised prices astronomically triggered anti-Arab, anti-Muslim diatribes in the United States. International crises in the Middle East during the 1980s continued these sentiments. There were outbursts of anti-Muslim feeling during the Persian Gulf War (1990-1991), and many Muslims felt the war was an attack on Islam rather than a dispute with the government of Iraq. This sense that U.S. policy was attacking the Islamic faith was a factor when the World Trade Center in New York City was bombed in 1993 and destroyed in 2001.


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