Prejudice and Public Perception

Topics: Islam, Middle East, Muhammad Pages: 6 (2394 words) Published: March 19, 2013
Prejudice and Public Perception

After September 11, Americans have a negative point of view towards people from Arab Nations and all Muslims in the world. Most of the people get the wrong perception about Islam because they lack of knowledge of how this religion works. Middle Eastern people face prejudice today because of the public’s lack of understanding of their religious beliefs, their treatment of women, and the perception of their being terrorists. One of the reasons why the public perception of the Muslim community is not completely true is because of their lack of understanding of the Islam religion. Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in the world, having the second largest number of believers, next to Christianity. There are about nine to eleven million Muslims that are living in the United States, and some scholars agree that they will soon outnumber the American Jews. (Hasan 183) Most people do not have any sort of background information, and they are apt to make the wrong judgments about Muslims. “United States rely on biased media reporting, generalizations, and stories we’ve heard about Muslims to Characterize Islam” (Hassan 10). The quote holds the key about American population understanding of the Islamic community, based on information about what they learned through the media. The Muslim community in the United States is the victim of mistaken identity. “Our felow citizens think all Muslims are terrorists and women oppressors, yet Muslims know we are actually much better people than the stereotypes make us out to be” (Hassan 11). Just because of a couple of radical Muslims, every Muslim is criticized for being a threat against other people and is People getting the correct knowledge behind the religion, is the only way to stop prejudicial views towards Middle Easterners. “The word Islam means “submission;” in other words, it means the surrender of oneself to Allah” (Abdulati 7). All Muslims also believe in the angels created by Allah and the prophets who passed down the message to the humans. Also they believe in all the prophets from Adam to Allah’s final prophet Muhammad (Abdulati 4). The Islam religion branches off into two major branches of Muslims. The first is the Sunni who are the common type of Muslims and they make up about 90 % of all the Islam population in the whole world. The other kind are the Shiite Muslims; they are considered to be the radical type and they only populate only 8% of Muslims and remaining 2 % are other kinds. (Hassan 23) Most of the Shiite’s live in the country of Iraq because it contains their most sacred places. The Muslims from all around the world from every country all follow the basic “Five Pillars” of Islam. It includes faith, prayer, zakat, fast, and pilgrimage. (Abdulati 4) The most common in the Islam religion is that there is “no god worthy of worship except God, and Muhammad is his messenger (Abdulati 23).” This is the most significant pillar because it is the most basic belief a Muslim must hold. This first one is the key to a Muslims existence. (Hassan 59) Second out of five pillars is Prayer, also called as Salat and the foundation of Islam. (Abdulati 57) The prayers are done five times a day in which the person recites the verses from the holy book Quran. The prayers are done at specific period of the day which is: dawn, noon, mid afternoon, sunset, and nightfall and it can be done alone or with group of Muslims. Third but one of the most important pillars is Zakat. It is when Muslims take two and a half percent of their yearly income and give it to charity. The Fourth pillar of Islam is the fasting month of Ramadan. Ramadan is one of the holy months for all the Muslims in the world. It is the month when the whole Muslim community fasts from sundown to sunset. It also shows the person to be able to feel sympathy for people that are less fortune with the blessings of God.

Last but not least, the final pillar...
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