CheckPoint: Characteristics of Orientalism, Prejudice and Discrimination
The differences between Muslims and Arabs are different although that difference is very slight. Arabs are a group of people defined by their ethnicity; it is very clear however, not all Arabs are Muslims. In simple terms Arabs are an ethnic group, Muslims are those individuals who have adopted Islam as their religion and way of life. Moreover, a Muslim can also be an Arab and also be someone who is not Arab but converted to Islam or born into the religion.
Since the 9/11 terrorist attack or society allowed all the stereotypes to play into their emotions. Everyone believed, regardless of being Muslim, which if you looked Arab…your people had something to do with the attack. The government, even to this day, is taking steps against anything like 9/11 ever happening again. The Arab community has to deal with policies proposed by the Justice Department that would allow the FBI to investigate Americans without evidence of wrongdoing, relying instead on a terrorist profile that could single out Muslims and Arabs. Passing laws that single out individuals creates an environment for prejudices to take hold.
Orientalism is allowing your view of someone’s primitive past to define who they are today. From an Orientalist perspective we form our opinions based on how Arabs and Muslims have been depicted to American society. Characteristics of Orientalism include the wearing of clothing to cover a womans head in eastern countries, as well as the inscrutability of Arabs and Muslims that continues to skew the perspective and allows for people to see these two groups as violent based on there past.
As Americans we have to begin to teach tolerance; it has to be something that we are mindful of. I believe the most powerful way this can be done is through the media; the same tool that pushes propaganda to the US people. The media has the power to change perception and ideas; however, it...