Characteristics of Orientalism, Prejudice, and Discrimination Essay

Characteristics of Orientalism, Prejudice, and Discrimination Chris Gilbert University of Phoenix Cultural Diversity ETH/125 Adria Welcher August 12, 2010 Characteristics of Orientalism, Prejudice, and Discrimination In my opinion the difference between Muslim and Arab is simple, Muslim is a choice, it is a belief and a religion, Arab is a nationality. When it comes to nationalities you have no choice it is something you are born into. “The typical American tends to confuse the two groups, believing them to be one and the same. This categorization and similar generalizations about Arabs and Muslim groups is referred to as Orientalism.

Orientalism does not define the differences in origin, cultural practices, or religion for those who belong to either group. These stereotypical views have been problematic for many Arab and Muslim Americans in the years since the 9/11, and despite the President’s reassurance, many Arabs and Muslims were detained, questioned at length, and some were kept against their will for long periods of time. Ironically, many of those arrested were American born citizens. Racial profiling has been at the forefront of many political discussions, and it would seem that there is still some conflict where civil rights are concealed.

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As recently as 2007, a bill known as The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Act (S. 1959 / H. R. 1955) has been passed to investigate terrorism. The Center for Constitutional Rights (2007) has argued however, that the bill is unconstitutional and encourages law enforcement officials to unlawfully detain and accuse members of the American public of politically motivated terrorist intentions. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) (2007) may have stated an opposing view best when he said that S. 1959 will be “Intruding on the lives and freedom of average Americans and does not make us any safer” (para. 1).

Our collective efforts to promote tolerance, understanding and acceptance of Arab and Muslim citizens must begin by educating our children about world religions. Ignorance promotes prejudice and discrimination, and hate crimes are more likely to occur when people fear for their safety. A program designed to foster tolerance introduces different religions to children in schools. Information on Teaching Tolerance (n. d. ) programs is readily available through the Southern Poverty Law Center, and grant money can be obtained for those schools who wish to implement the programs into their curriculum (http://hubpages. om)”. As an individual I feel that all I can do to help with the hate crimes and prejudice is continue to raise my children the way I have raised them all their lives. They are raised to believe that all people are equal, no matter what the color, race, religion or ethnicity. God made us all and will be the judge in our final days who are we to judge, lest we be judged ourselves. References: http:hubpages. com/hub/Muslim-and-Arab-Americans 2010 Hubpages Inc.

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