Learning to Challenge StereotypesA Focus on Muslim Discrimination
-A brief look at historical examples of prejudice and discrimination in the United States-What Would You Do? A short film and discussion-The vastness of the Middle Eastern world-Islam and the common stereotypes associated with it-What we can do to help move away from prejudice tendencies
Webster’s Dictionary defines prejudice as: 1. an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason. 2. any unfavorable preconceived opinion or feeling. 3. unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, especially of a hostile nature, regarding a racial, religious, or national group.
Historically, there have always been certain groups within the United States that are subjected to prejudice, discrimination, and even blatant racism. These bias tendencies still go on in our nation today, hindering our path towards equality. 1
Native Americans Pushed to Migrate Genocide? 2 Reservation Conditions Portrayal in Sports 3
African Americans Racism in the Past Slavery Segregation 4 Bigotry Still Unequal Today Career and Loan Rejection Incarceration Poverty 5
Asian Americans Cheap Labor Force Transcontinental Railroad Led to Anti-Chinese Movement 6 Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) Japanese Internment (1942) Post Pearl Harbor fear of “Japs” 7
Latin Americans Segregation Deportation of Families 8 Cheap Labor Hiring of Illegal aliens while forcing them to leave the country English Only Laws 9
Muslim Americans, Arabs, Iranians, Sikhs, and Hindus Post 9/11 Fear & Islamophobia Persons or groups perceived as terrorists Patriot Act Hate Crimes Many times against a person not a part of the “target” group 10
-Extremely vast region that encompasses over 15 countries, on two different continents. -Nearly every country speaks a different language, many have a variety of languages within the region. -Most common religion is Islam, however one could find all of the11 World religions within this area as well as many other minority practices.
• Lets say we interviewed three people from different parts of the Middle East. We recorded where they were from, their religion, and their primary language. Our results could be as distinct as this: Person Country Religion Language 1 Egypt Christianity Arabic 2 Oman Hindu English 3 Turkey Islam Turkish• Even though these people are all “Middle Easterners” they each have drastically different characteristics.
What is Islam? Who are Muslims? What do they believe? 11 How large is the following? Why do the women cover their heads? 12 Others?
Muslims are violent extremists… Muslims are intolerant of all other religions… Muslims worship a different God… Islam oppresses women… All Muslims are Arabs… 14
Don’t believe everything you hear Challenge information Pursue credible sources 16 Research for answers on your own Make contact and conversation with people unlike yourself, learn their perspectives and experiences Read books written by people from different parts of the world Thousand Splendid Suns The Bottom Line: Tolerance You don’t have to accept what others believe, but don’t think any differently of them for it 15
Adams, M. & Blumenfield W. J. (2010). Readings for Diversity and Social Justice (2nd ed.). New York, New York: Routledge. Gerges, F. A. (1997). Islam and Muslims in the mind of America. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 26(2), 68-81. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost. Heiss, M. (2006). Culture and U.S. Relations with the Middle East. OAH Magazine Of History, 20(3), 19-22. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost. Ross, M. L. (2008). Oil, Islam, and Women. American Political Science Review, 102(1), 107-123. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost. Simmons, G. (2008). From Muslims in America to American Muslims. Journal Of Islamic Law & Culture, 10(3), 254-282. doi:10.1080/15288170802481145