CULTURAL DIVERSITY

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Appendix D


United States-Centric Views Comparison

Consider this question: What are an average American’s perceptions about Muslim/Arab American and Christian American groups?

Copy each descriptor from the paragraph below and paste it into the table according to how you think an average American would categorize the descriptor. Would each descriptor best apply to Christian Americans only, Muslim and Arab Americans only, or to both groups? In organizing this information, you are conveying what you think most Americans perceive about these groups, so there are no “right” answers. In fact, your table categorizations may be markedly different from what you personally believe is true.


Descriptors

Good neighbors, family oriented, oppressive to women, not oppressive to women, women as homemakers, women who go to work, patriarchal society, modest dress, immodest dress, well educated, undereducated, religious content in education, secular content in education, devout, law abiding, conservative political values, moderate political values, governed by Biblical law, governed by the Qur’an, fanatically religious, religious values perpetuated in politics, religion part of government, male-dominated political environment, political environment open to both sexes, violent, peaceable, socially exclusionary, socially inclusive, socially oppressed, socially compliant, sexist, feminist, strict moral values, moderate moral values, flexible moral values


Table

Christian Americans
Both Groups
Muslim and Arab Americans









I can't speak for "most Americans." However, I believe that most of the descriptors can apply to Both Groups. The only exceptions are those dealing with the Bible and the Qu'ran.

The rest of the descriptors are stereotypical and I'd like to believe that most Americans look beyond stereotypes. Conservative Christians and Muslims have many values in common with each other. They tend to dress modestly and want their religion and governments allied. The most militant also advocate fighting for principles. "Onward Christian Soldiers" is an old and popular hymn of conservative Christians. The more liberal people in both religions are more moderate and socially indistinguishable.

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