How Post-9/11 Islamophobia Thrust Aasif Mandvi Into the Spotlight on ‘The Daily Show’

For the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Rolling Stone spoke with artists and entertainers who identify as Muslim or of Middle Eastern descent about how the aftermath of that day shaped their lives and careers in America.

Actor, comic, and former Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi was living in New York when two planes struck the World Trade Center in 2001. He spoke with Rolling Stone about witnessing post-9/11 discrimination against the Muslim community and how that created the career opportunity of a lifetime.

Mandvi remembers watching Islamophobia take hold in the weeks following the attacks. “The first thing I noticed was all the cab drivers in New York with American flags on the side of their cabs, in their window,” he says. “They were clearly terrified of the backlash. And then the stories coming out of people being harassed and beaten and sometimes even killed.”

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