posted by Mandie .
Religious discrimination against Muslims and Arab-appearance people rose steeply in the United States after 9/11. Consider the differences between Arabs, Muslims, and Arab Muslim extremists and fundamentalists. What may be done to maintain the American guarantees of religious freedom and increase knowledge about Muslims and Arabs?
Everyone needs to work at assimilating all ethnic groups into our communities. As a teacher, years before 9/11, I attended a workshop in which we learned about Islam from Muslim unversity professors. It was enlightening as they emphasized the devotion to religion and family life practiced by most Muslims. In turn, I taught my classes respect for Islam and its followers.
Communities can organize similar workshops, social events, and community promotions. If we get to know each other on a one-to-one basis, we realize that we have much more in common with other groups.
That said, remember that all "different" ethnic and religious groups had a hard time for the first generation or more. My German ancestors faced discrimination in the early 1800s. I also vividly remember the days when people badmouthed Jews and many social organizations prohibited Jewish members. It took a long and hard-fought battle for African-Americans to gain acceptance -- and there are still many pockets of prejudice. Anti-Catholics were active in the opposition to John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign.
What are some of your thoughts on this subject?
I had a real hard time coming up with something to write for this discussion question because my ancestors were from England and I have no history to draw upon. In fact this whole class is giving me a hard time because I belong to the "majority" or "dominant" group, and feel like my own ethnicity is being picked-on in the discussion forum.
I think you are right about one-to-one exposure being integral to understanding and acceptance. It is easy to categorize a whole people based upon the fascists in a group (meaning the violent subgroup), but a face-to-face dealings bring light to our many similarities and common ground.
You have given me much fodder to chew on in the coming days until the post must be done. Thank you!
I am interested in what other opinions may be out there...? I wonder if anyone else might be willing to answer the question as well? It would be great if I could also get the opinion of someone who is Muslim...
I'm Muslim, and I'd answer this but it seems a bit too complicated for my level, haha. Although I saw this post on the Jiskha facebook page, and answered it simply on there.(: