UNLV part-time Political Science Instructor Autoosa Kojoorie calls the situation around Adnan Syed’s release unfair and talks about hardships that Muslim-Americans have faced since 9/11.
“In the ten to twelve years following [9/11], there was this very negative perception of Muslim-Americans,” said Kojoori.
She said that negative and xenophobic terminology toward Muslims became widespread in the U.S. after 9/11.
ACLU and Human Rights Watch discovered that 70 men were arrested under suspicion of terrorism ties in 2005. Only one of them wasn’t Muslim and “only a handful” were ever charged with crimes related to terrorism. The U.S. issued an apology to 13 of them for wrongful detainment.
“Can you imagine if you’re in a situation like that and you have to have a podcast to bring light of the injustice you’re experiencing?” Kojoori said about Syed’s release.
“That’s not fair,” she says.
When Syed was first convicted in 2000, the Anti-Islamic hate crimes stood at 28 reported incidents. In 2019 that number rose to 176.
Kajoorie said that the injustices that Muslim-Americans face in the the American criminal justice system is not one they face alone, as the situation of all minorities has regressed in recent years.
“Thanks to the political landscape of the last four to five years, I would say that we’re not singled out as much anymore,” said Kajoorie.