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Last modified: Thursday, August 29, 2002

Effects of September 11

News tips from Indiana University

SEPT. 11 CAUSED MUSLIMS TO TAKE A SERIOUS LOOK AT THEIR FAITH, according to Kevin Jaques, IU assistant professor of religious studies and an expert on Islam. "The tragedy of Sept. 11 forced many Muslims in the United States and around the world to take a serious look at the state of Islam," said Jaques, whose expertise includes Islam in this country. "This has resulted in an emerging self-criticism that is promoting very important and constructive discussions about the nature of Islamic thought in the contemporary world." He said the majority of American Muslims who represent a moderate position have ignored the dangers posed by radical and violent extremists. "The attacks have led to more Muslim leaders preaching against radicalism and alerting people to the dangers posed by small minorities of Muslims who hope to force their views on the majority," he said. Jaques (pronounced Jakes) can be reached at 812-855-6907 or

CHARITABLE GIVING IN RESPONSE TO SEPT. 11 WAS A SMALL PORTION OF THE YEARLY TOTAL, according to Patrick Rooney, director of research for the IU Center on Philanthropy at the Indianapolis campus. Rooney, who has directed several studies related to Sept. 11 and giving, said the tremendous outpouring of giving following the terrorist attacks (74 percent of U.S. households responded) constituted less than 1 percent of all giving to charitable causes for the year. "While Sept. 11 giving does seem to have hampered giving to other causes in the weeks immediately following the tragedy, the impact on other charities appears to be lessening over time," he said. Nearly 60 percent of nonprofit fund-raisers surveyed said that in the weeks following the attacks, giving related to Sept. 11 came at the expense of other causes, but only 5.5 percent predicted that there would be a negative impact on other charities by this fall, Rooney said. "It appears that the economy probably had a greater effect on giving to nonprofits in 2001 than Sept. 11 did," he explained. To reach Rooney, call 317-236-4912 or 317-684-8906.

ANNIVERSARIES ARE IMPORTANT TO TERRORISTS, but Steven Chermak, IU associate professor of criminal justice, doesn't anticipate another incident on Sept. 11. "Domestic terrorists use anniversary dates to call attention to their actions, but international terrorists like Al Queda aren't normally concerned with these dates," he said. Chermak, whose research interests include terrorism, believes America will be on such a high alert around Sept. 11 that terrorists would be foolish to try to mount another attack. "It takes a lot of planning for a mass casualty incident like we faced last September. I think Osama bin Laden's people are still consumed by the results of their action and U.S. efforts to catch them," he said. Chermak can be reached at 812-855-5161 or

STAY CLOSER TO HOME AND BE CAREFUL appear to be the watchwords in the travel and tourism industry as we approach the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, according to Lynn Jamieson, chair of the IU Department of Recreation and Park Administration, who has extensive teaching and research experience in tourism and commercial recreation. "The public seems to be more careful in making travel plans than they were prior to the attacks and, perhaps, avoiding some locations thought to be still vulnerable to terrorism," Jamieson said. The perceived safety of car travel is continuing to take a toll on such public transportation as the commercial airlines, she noted. "People seem to make local and regional travel more of a priority, as opposed to lengthy plane, ship or train trips," she said. Jamieson can be reached at 812-855-8676 or

MANY AIRPORT SECURITY MEASURES ARE INEFFECTIVE, according to William Head, IU assistant professor of criminal justice. "Originally, travelers were more willing to accept long waits at airports and have their luggage searched," said Head, a consultant on anti-terrorist security. "However, after it became apparent that these tightened security measures were mostly superficial and not very effective, people became less tolerant of the delays and intrusions." Head's doctoral project dealt with how law enforcement officials handle hijacking, kidnapping and hostage situations. "We seem to be winning not the war on terrorism but the war on keeping passengers from bringing nail clippers on board planes," he said. Head can be reached at 812-855-6434 or

AIRLINE TERRORIST PROTECTION FROM THE GOVERNMENT IS STILL LACKING, according to Clint Oster Jr., professor of public affairs at Indiana University and an expert on airline security. "We have seen a vigorous response from the government to try to protect the commercial airline system from future terrorist attacks," explained Oster, a faculty member in the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. "While the speed of the government response is laudable, many of the steps taken reflect little, if any, careful thought. All too often, we've placed blame where it doesn't belong and have focused more on symbolic gestures than on measures that might actually hinder a sophisticated terrorist," he said. He has co-authored four books on the airline industry and served as research director of the Aviation Safety Commission. Oster can be reached at 812-855-0563 or

OUR FOUNDING FATHERS WOULD HAVE OPPOSED HOMELAND SECURITY PLANS now being considered, said William Head, IU assistant professor of criminal justice. "Homeland security is very troubling to me," explained Head, a consultant on anti-terrorist security, "because it merges many of the federal law enforcement agencies into one 'superagency' directed by a cabinet-level administrator. The founding fathers were very specific in their preference that policing be primarily a local concern without a national police force." Head noted that with some 80 separate law enforcement agencies at the federal level, each has a specific mandate. "This limits the authority of any single agency and guarantees that policing will remain a decentralized activity primarily performed at the local level. The creation of a homeland security agency would thwart the intent of the founding fathers and transfer a tremendous amount of power into the hands of a single entity," he said. Head can be reached at 812-855-6434 or

THE NEW U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY will need increased cooperation to succeed, according to Charles Wise, IU professor of public affairs and an expert on governmental organization and management, who has recently written two professional journal articles on homeland security organization. "The president's proposed new Homeland Security Department, when established, will be only the beginning of efforts to bring together federal, state and local agencies to provide security. Homeland security represents a major challenge for our system of government because it requires close integration of many activities while leaving little room for error," said Wise, a former director of intergovernmental affairs for the U.S. Department of Justice. "Who could have guessed that we would need the Centers for Disease Control, the FBI and the Post Office working together for homeland security," he said, "and that's just at the federal level." The IU professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs said intergovernmental cooperation is vital in such areas as terrorism preparedness, threat assessment, financial responsibility and developing new technology to combat terrorism. Wise can be reached at 812-855-9744 or

IGNORANCE OF ISLAM IS DANGEROUS FOR AMERICANS, said Kevin Jaques, IU assistant professor of religious studies and an expert on the Islamic faith, because it leads to irrational assumptions and acts that endanger not just Muslims but all Americans. "The gaps in our knowledge of Islamic history and thought are huge, yet many journalists and others who are not qualified to speak authoritatively on the field write articles and books, speak on television and radio, and advise the government on issues about which scholars know very little," he said. "This leads to wide speculation in the media and government about many aspects of Islam that are simply not true, or are very controversial among scholars." Jaques, whose expertise includes Islam in the United States, said the horror of Sept. 11 has resulted in "a genuine desire on the part of many Americans to learn more about Muslims. This has led to a higher level of intercultural and ecumenical interaction than had previously been the case." Jaques (pronounced Jakes) can be reached at 812-855-6907 or

POSITIVE CHANGES IN FAMILY RELATIONS DUE TO SEPT. 11 ARE FADING as the length of time since the terrorist attacks increases, according to Robert Billingham, an expert on family relationships and IU associate professor in applied health science. "Shortly after Sept. 11, many people seemed to be re-evaluating their lives regarding family relationships and romantic involvements," Billingham said. "However, as time goes by -- except for those directly affected by the attacks -- we seem to be reverting back to our old habits and ways." He said another terrorist attack like Sept. 11 would probably lead to people feeling more vulnerable because of the realization that these horrible acts can be repeated. Billingham can be reached at 812-855-5208 (office), 824-9785 (home) or

WHETHER OSAMA BIN LADEN IS ALIVE OR DEAD is not a concern to most Afghans, according to Nazif Shahrani (pronounced Na-ZEEF Shah-RAH-nee), director of IU's Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Program and a native of Afghanistan. "It is not important to most Afghans whether bin Laden is dead or alive," Shahrani said. "This is a preoccupation for President Bush and his advisers. The larger question is what conditions helped empower people like bin Laden and his followers to gain power in this region. More significantly, what has been America's role in producing these conditions, and what can be done to resolve the vicious circle of perpetual violence and war in this part of the world?" Shahrani, an expert on Afghanistan politics and Islamic movements, recently returned from a three-week trip to Afghanistan. He can be reached at 812-855-5993 or

THE FUTURE OF THE TALIBAN WILL INVOLVE TERRORISM, according to Nazif Shahrani (pronounced Na-ZEEF Shah-RAH-nee), director of IU's Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Program and a native of Afghanistan. "The Taliban have no political future in Afghanistan, although they might have one in parts of Pakistan," said Shahrani, an expert on Afghanistan politics and Islamic movements. "The future of the Taliban is assured as a terrorist organization in the region for as long as the principal conditions producing terrorism persist in that part of the world, such as corrupt dictatorships that are propped up to oppress their own people because they are friendly to the United States or the West," he said. Shahrani recently returned from a three-week trip to Afghanistan. He can be reached at 812-855-5993 or

AFGHANS APPRECIATE, WITH RESERVATIONS, WHAT THE UNITED STATES HAS DONE, according to Nazif Shahrani (pronounced Na-ZEEF Shah-RAH-nee), director of IU's Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Program and a native of Afghanistan. "The mood in Afghanistan continues to be gratitude and appreciation for what the United States has done militarily," Shahrani said. "The future will depend on how the United States manages its role in the reconstruction of the country politically, that is, in helping Afghans establish a new democratic governance structure based on community self-governance principles. Or will the United States insist on rebuilding the same old centralized government monopolized by a small group whom we may regard as friendly to the United States? That is the $64,000 question," he said. Shahrani, an expert on Afghanistan politics and Islamic movements, recently returned from a three-week trip to Afghanistan. He can be reached at 812-855-5993 or

FASHION CHANGES DUE TO SEPT. 11 HAVE BEEN SUBTLE, WITH ONE EXCEPTION, according to Deborah Christiansen, IU assistant professor of apparel merchandising and an expert on fashions and the fashion industry. "World events can strongly affect fashions, but these effects are usually subtle and not visible until many years later," Christiansen said. "This is because designers begin the planning and development process at least a year before garments are hanging on store racks. This means many styles we have seen during the past year were already being developed or on their way to U.S. distribution centers before anyone could consciously plan a post-9/11 look." She said one noticeable exception is the number of American flag prints and other patriotic merchandise that can be printed on or produced from previously manufactured basic stock like T-shirts and sweatshirts. Christiansen can be reached at 812-855-7854 or