Lessons never learned from the 9/11-era wars

This piece was originally published in The Hill's Changing America section


There has been a recent uptick in nostalgia for President George W. Bush. President Obama remarked on his predecessor’s regard for the rule of law, and former Congresswoman Katie Hill expressed longing for President Bush’s leadership. In a way, it’s understandable why the public is trying to remember better days. President Trump is failing in the U.S. coronavirus response as cases are reaching a new peak at the same time rubber bullets and tear gas are being used on Black Lives Matter protesters outside the White House. But for Muslim-Americans, the Bush presidency paved the way for the covert and overt anti-Muslim policies present in our foreign policy and national security today.


Many Muslim Americans, like me, feel like these revisionist sentiments of President Bush are privileged comments that dismiss the trauma our community has been experiencing since 9/11. Iram Ali, a former Warren campaign senior content strategist, echoed what many Muslim-American millennials experienced, reflecting that her whole community was subjected to deportations and mass surveillance. Sana Saeed, a journalist with AJ+ remarked that “inherent to every praise of Bush is a racist disregard for the line of dead brown men, women and children who trail him and will trail him well after he’s dead.”