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Characteristics of Orientalism, Prejudice, and Discrimination

Characteristics of Orientalism, Prejudice, and Discrimination

There are many differences between Muslims and Arabs. Arabs come from a specific area of the world – the Middle East and Northern Africa, while Muslims belong to the Muslim religion, which follows the teachings of Islam and the god Allah. Not all Arabs are Muslim and not all Muslims are Arab, though there is some overlap where one would find an Arab person that is also Muslim.
With the suspicions people held after September 11th, 2001, many policies had to be made to ensure the safety of all Americans, regardless of race or religion. The president, several times, went in front of the American people to reassure everyone that Islam is a faith of love, not anger or terror. Discrimination against Arab Americans and Muslims is a crime, however, that did not deter some people and violence against Arabs and Muslims continues to happen.
Orientalism is the act of seeing people today as their ancestors were. People that look at Arabs or Muslims through Orientalism see the history of those people. Even though a person's ancestors may have been violent, that person may not be. Orientalism skews a person's perceptions and that person tends to not see any change in behavior, causing that person to believe that, since Arabs were vicious in the past, they must still be violent today.
To promote tolerance in their own towns, people can correct someone when they hear a bias statement being made, as long as there is no danger of harm. The easiest way to change people's perceptions of others is to lead by example. By simply speaking to people that have been discriminated against can help others see that there is nothing wrong. Treating everyone equally can deter others from being callous and prejudicial.

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