Muslim is a religion not a Nationality and conversely, the word Arab is indicative of a Nationality and not a religion. Many people are not aware of the difference and often assimilate the two groups. “Most Arab Americans are not Muslim and most Muslim Americans are not of Arab background. Both groups have been seen and stereotyped in the West through Orientalism. By definition, Orientalism is “the simplistic view of the people and history of the Orient with no recognition of change over time or the diversity within its many cultures”. Characteristics of Orientalism include Xenophobia which is an unreasonable and basic distrust, fear, or hatred of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange, and unjust prejudice to that which is unfamiliar, uncommon, profiled and misunderstood. These characteristics continue to contribute to post 9-11 hate crimes. To combat and correct the concerns regarding the mistreatment of the Muslim and Arabic members of its society, the United States was obligated to adopt policy changes. Evidence indicates that more stringent policies and laws have been instated; protecting not only our Nation but also its people and prejudicial acts against its people - Muslin’s and Arab individuals included.
“Bias is a human condition, and American history is common with prejudice against groups and individuals because of their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or other differences. We must first become educated before we can effectively educate others. We must get involved. As educated role models each of us can promote tolerance and reduce prejudice in our towns and cities by educating others on social tolerance and how and what people can do to reduce prejudice.