Characteristics of Orientalism, Prejudice and Discrimination

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Characteristics of Orientalism, Prejudice, and Discrimination Week 5 CheckPoint

Many people confuse Arab and Muslims. Arabs are an ethnic group and Muslims are a religious group. Muslims are believers of the Islam faith. Most Arabs are not Muslims and most Muslims are not Arabs. Muslims cannot be identified by their nationality alone. Being an Arab does not mean that you are a follower of the Islam religion. An Arab is generally from the countries that are now the Arab world. This area is made up of 22 nations of North Africa and what is called the Middle East.

Orientalism is defined by our text as the simplistic view of the people and history of the Orient with no recognition of change over time or the diversity within its many cultures (Schaefer, 2006, p. 284). An example of orientalism is that many people in the United States see a mosque as a foreign threat and not as a sign of religious freedom or diversity. Another example is the suggestion that there is a conflict between Christians and Muslims.

After the 9/11 attack, the Department of Justice (DOJ) called in many Arab and Muslim immigrants for questioning. They also started a special registration program that targeted visitors from Arab and Muslim countries. These programs caused much suspicion towards Arabs and Muslims by the American citizens. There was a lot of racial profiling that went on towards Arabs and Muslims because of their ethnicity and religious preferences. They also caused the decline in the number of Arabs and Muslims that visited the United States. Now, there are people who want civil liberties to be protected.

The best way to promote tolerance and reduce prejudice is by educating people to whom and what Arabs and Muslims really are. Usually, prejudice is caused by a fear of something. If that fear is taken away, by learning about Arabs and Muslims, then there will be no need for prejudice.

References
Schaefer, Richard T., Racial and Ethnic Groups, 2006,...
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