Muslim and Arab Americans are often mistaken for one another when in fact they are two different groups of people, although there are some cases where they overlap. Muslims are a religious group and follow the Islam religion. Arabs are an ethnic group. When we speak of an Arab we are referring to what part of the world they came from. When speaking of a Muslim we speak of the religion that they follow.
In the past two years, there have been no changes made in US policy regarding the treatment of Muslims and Arabs. There has been a lot of talk that we need to end the racial profiling but overall nothing has been done. Since the 9/11 terror attacks we have treated them worse than ever. Muslim and Arab charitable groups were shut down by the government in fear that the groups aided terrorists. ON the other hand, Keith Ellis became the first member of the US congress (Ghazali 2008).
Orientalism is 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. Because of Orientalism, Muslims and Arabs are stereotyped based upon their religion. Some people forget that there are other religious beliefs besides Christianity. Muslims and Arabs are also looked at as terrorists because of 9/11. Because of these viewpoints, hate crimes and harassment of Arab and Muslim Americans has risen greatly. Orientalism has created negative stereotypes against these two groups. Americans believe these stereotypes to be true about anyone with Arab or Muslim traits. America’s ignorance and failure to change their way of thinking has led to these hate crimes.
One way that an individual could promote tolerance and reduce prejudice within their community is to educate others. There are many resources available that could help community members learn about other cultures and races. The more people tend to learn about others, the more tolerant they tend to become.
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