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Muslims and Arabs

In: People

Submitted By lish0812
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The major difference between Muslims and Arabs is that Arabs are an ethnic group and Muslims are a religious group. According to the textbook (Schaefer, 2006) “many Arab Americans are not Muslims, and most Muslim Americans are not Arabs” (p. 285). Arab Americans are immigrants and descendants from Arab countries as well as non-Arab countries. Muslims are people who practice the Islam faith. Though Muslims and Arabs are significantly different, they do share some similarities. Both Arabs and Muslims experience orientalism, which prevents them from obtaining classification as individual groups. There are many characteristics of orientalism such as stereotyping of Islam, religious conflict, and misrepresentation of cultures among Eastern countries. Orientalism can contribute to hate crimes because it promotes prejudice. It does this by fostering the idea that everyone within an ethnic group is to blame for the actions and ideas of only a few. For example, Muslims and Arabs have experienced high levels of hate crimes and discrimination since the attacks of 9/11. This is most likely because orientalism helped foster the idea that all Arabs and Muslims are a threat to the country, just because a few were. There are some recent changes to the United States policies that may affect the treatment of Muslim and Arab Americans. The most recent change comes in the form of verbal support for Muslim Americans by President Obama in his State of the Union Address, January 25, 2011. Another change was the amendment of Oklahoma’s Constitution banning Shariah law. State Question 755 was approved in November 2010, which forbids state courts from considering Shariah law; a law based on the Koran and the teaching of Mohammed (American Muslim Perspective, 2010). Also the USA Patriot Act of 2001 contains provisions that condemn discrimination against Arab and Muslim Americans (Schaefer,…...

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