Terrorism has divergent effects on the society. The major objective of terrorism has been to push the government to react and take a given action. A good example is how the Al Qaeda was able to provoke and trigger U.S invasion of Iraq. Although most research centers on macro level, terrorism also considerably affects the micro level, and prompt the reactions of the civilians.
Negative attitude towards others
The first effect that terrorism causes on civilians is triggering a negative attitude towards the parties involved. For instance, the extensive number of attacks by terrorist organizations associated with Islam has nurtured a worldwide fear towards Muslims. There has been growing to hate and dislike against Muslims because of the perception that they support or sympathize with terrorists. A good example is how the 9/11 attack in the U.S triggered an extensive bias towards Muslims. Fam et al. (2021) argue that many American Muslims have been forced to live with mistrust, suspicion, and constant surveillance. They are perceived as likely to commit terrorism or as though they are in connection with the terrorist groups. Based on this perception, that members of the community have developed a mixture of fear and hatred against Muslims, therefore affecting relationships in the societies. This perception is supported by a survey that was conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research that showed that only 53% of Americans have favorable views towards Muslims and Islam in general.
Inter-Religious violence in the society
Most of the research studies examine the involvement of governments in rising up against terrorism. However, terrorism also affects society, triggering the members of the society to also take an active role in countering terrorism. According to Sikhakhane (2021), in countries where terrorism has been rampant, religious conflicts are often likely to happen. For instance, in Israel, there has been constant conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors. The diverse cases of terrorism committed by the Palestinians against Israel. Since the establishment of Israel, the Palestinians have been against the occupation and continuous expansion of settlements established by Israel. In a bid to suppress Israel, the Palestinians have continued to use measures such as sending rockets and use of suicide bombers. The Israelis living in settlement areas have continued to live in fear of attacks from Palestinians (Sikhakhane, 2021). The animosity between Israelis and Arabs has been influenced by terrorism and constant bombing. Based on the relationship between Israelis and Arabs, it is clear that terrorism forces civilians to take an active role, which creates more violence in society. Unfortunately, terrorist organizations utilize the bad relationship to their advantage and spread negative information to win more followers.
Islamophobia on social media
Social media has widely been embraced as an effective platform for venting out anger. Since 9/11, there has been an increase in hate online with people spreading messages of hate across social media platforms. When any terrorist activity happens, people rush online to raise their opinions and spread messages. Cite points out that the online space has continued to be more hostile towards Muslims, associating them with terrorism. This hate expands to the politicians or leaders that tend to support Muslims.
Although terrorism triggers a huge reaction from the governments, the civilians are also coerced to take new social changes in day-to-day life. Since 9/11, society has developed fear and mistrust towards Muslims because of the perception that they are terrorist sympathizers. Apart from violence in society, civilians have turned their social media platforms to spread their message of hate and vent their anger, therefore, spreading Islamophobia.