AMERICA’S VIEWS ON MUSLIMS 5
Americans have an extremely bad view on the Muslim community. Sincethe bombing of 9/11 and the numerous mushrooming of various Muslimterrorist groups, Americans have become suspicious of the Muslimcommunity as a whole. Whereas the terrorist activities are conductedby just but a few people from the Muslim Religion, America hasgeneralized and termed or viewed every Muslim as a suspect ofterrorism (Obeidallah, 2014). Groups such as al Qaeda, al shabaab,Boko Haram, ISIS and other Muslim related terrorist groups havecontinued to taint the image of the Muslim community in the eyes ofthe Americans.
Thesis statement: Due to the grouping of Muslim cultures asa whole instead of individual nations, Americans hold manymisconceptions regarding Muslim women rights and extremist groups.
It is evident that America thinks and views Muslims as an entireculture and does not treat the Muslims as individuals (Aslan, 2011).This is largely attributed to the numerous attacks targeting Americancitizens and property in various embassies across the world that arecarried out by terrorist groups that are associated with Muslims(Hasan, 2013). For instance, the attack on the American embassy inKenya, the attack on U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya wereboth carried out by extremist groups that are associated withMuslims. Recently, the abduction of the Nigerian school girls by theself proclaimed Muslim group Boko Haram raised the misconception thatthe Americas have regarding the Muslims.
It is also evident that there have been other terrorist and orextremist groups that have emerged such as the ISIS in Syria and theIslamic State in Iraq and Levant. These are terrorist groups thattarget non-Muslim believers and even behead them and later spread thevideo over the internet. The perception that the Americas havetowards the Muslims is apperception that should be changed (Khan,2014). It is clear that the perception towards Muslims changes withpolitical parties and varies with age of the respondent. Thedemocrats have less severe bad perception regarding the Muslims whilethe Republicans are rated highest with regard to their perception ofthe Muslims. It is clear that the Muslims in America can hardly workcomfortable due to the stereotyping and discrimination (Obeidallah,2014). Additionally, the young people aged between 17 to 29 yearsviewed the Muslims positively and were convinced that the Muslims arehospitable people. This is due to the encounter that such people havehad with people from different cultural backgrounds. However, theolder generation of 65 years and above viewed the Muslims with askewed perception. This is attributed to the fact that these peoplehave had no opportunity to stay and interact with people from theMuslim community and understand them (Aslan, 2011).
The perception about the Muslims as a culture is both degradationand a form of discrimination. It is essential to note that theMuslims are entitled to their human rights of being treated equallyand with dignity. Stereotyping of Muslims as a culture isunacceptable and also demeaning both to the Islam religion and alsoto the Individual Muslims. Whereas there might be a few terroristincidents associated with Muslim Individuals, it is extremely unfairfor the Americas to generalize that all Muslims should be treatedwith contempt (Nacos & Torres-Reyna, 2012). It is evidently clearthat the Muslim religion through its leaders has continuously deniedand refuted claims that Islam supports terrorist activities. Islamicreligion has continually separated itself from the activities of theterrorists.
Whereas the Americans may claim that the Muslim leaders do not comeup to condemn the terrorist activities, it is clear that the Muslimleaders are the first to condemn such acts but they hardly get mediacoverage. For instance, the world Muslim leaders have led thecondemnation of the activities by ISIS. However, there is little ofthis condemnation by the Muslim leaders that goes to the cable TV.This continues to depict the Muslims in bad faith and as the religionthat conduct these or support terrorist activities. However, thetruth is that the American media has been compromised and it hasfallen prey to the continuous misconception regarding the Muslimculture. Additionally, there is only 1-2% of Muslims that make up theAmerican population. A recent study showed that there are over 60%Americans that do not know a Muslim personally (Obeidallah, 2014).This creates a situation whereby the Americas do not understand theculture of the Muslims and their beliefs. When there is condemnationof the Muslim culture, there is no person who stands up to defend theMuslims. It is therefore clear that the Muslims are only perceived asbeing supportive of terrorist activities while the fact is that theyare indeed totally against terrorist activities (Khan, 2014).
Muslims have also been thought of oppressing their women and denyingthem opportunities to work and have equal rights as men. Whereasthere might be some countries such as Afghanistan where women aredenied even health services, it is clear that the entire Muslimculture does not support the oppression on women and indeed supportsgirl child education (Hasan, 2013). Muslim leaders have come outstrong to defend the Islam religion and to support school going forgirls. Muslim girls have also been seen to succeed in various fields.Therefore, this is a misconception about Muslim women that Americashave.
Hasan, A. G. (2013). American Muslims: The new generationwith study guide. New York: Continuum.
Khan, A. (2014). Islam, Muslims, and America: Understandingthe basis of their conflict. New York: Algora Pub.
Nacos, B. L., & Torres-Reyna, O. (2012). Fueling ourfears: Stereotyping, media coverage, and publicopinion of Muslim Americans. Lanham, Md: Rowman &Littlefield.
Obeidallah, D. (2014). A new low in anti-Muslim American bias.Retrieved from: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/09/19/opinion/obeidallah-anti-muslim-bias/
Aslan, R. (2011). No god but God: The origins, evolution, andfuture of Islam. New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks.