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On Stereotypes

Posted by Chad on March 9, 2006

In the same vein as my previous post, I got to thinking….  Stereotypes are brought about and perpetuated by the majority of any said group of people.

I honestly do not believe that the majority of Muslims are “disproportionately prone to violence”.  Taking into account the entire population, the percentage of those willing to strap bombs to themselves or go off-roading in their SUVs has got to be quite low. 

What bothers is how the majority of the Muslim population seems content in allowing this stereotype of violence to continue.  Granted, every now and then you’ll get a condmenation of a bombing out of them, but that’s about it.

So why is it that such a small minority is being allowed run rampant with the image of those who practice Islam?  How is the majority letting such a small few negatively influence the world’s perception of Muslims? 

And more importantly…. why?

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4 Responses to “On Stereotypes”

  1. The constant drumbeat of hatred toward Muslims and Arabs on the American Right, on television and radio and in the press, has gradually had its effect.

    The Bush administration policy is to continually insinuate that the Muslim world is the new Soviet Union and full of sinister forces that require the US to go to war against them. But at the same time, America has warm relations with Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Senegal, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Qatar, the UAE, Bahrain, Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, etc., etc. When Saudi Arabia’s then crown prince (now king) Abdullah came to the US, Bush brought him to the Crawford ranch, held hands with him and kissed him on each cheek.

    This two-faced policy and self-contradictory rhetoric has contributed to growing hatred and bigotry toward Muslims in the US, which is no less worrisome than the hatred Jews faced in Europe in the 1920s. It is dangerous because of what it can become.

    This article might be worth a read,
    A Muslim Leader in Brooklyn, Reconciling 2 Worlds
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/05/nyregion/05imam.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

  2. Chad said

    I’d like some more specifics about the “constant drumbeat of hatred”. You may have a point in Bush’s “two-faced” policies, I’m not entirely sure.

    But shouldn’t some of the responsibility of the Muslim image be put on the Muslim community?

  3. rhetoric has contributed to growing hatred and bigotry toward Muslims in the US, which is no less worrisome than the hatred Jews faced in Europe in the 1920s.

    You are way overstating your case.

  4. EssEm said

    Honey, read the basic text, Koran, and read the texts of the Sharia code and the Hadith, read the history of Muslim expansion via military conquest. Keep in mind always that the constant mainstream understanding of Koran is that it is verbally dictated to Mohammed from heaven. It is not like the Bible at all. It is in fact like Christ, but in book form.

    Also, consider that while stereotyping (forcing every person or event in a group to conform to a prior negative image) is untenable, stereotypes, in order to be hurtful, have to connect with what is typical, that is, not uncommon among the majority of a group. Check out what is typical of Islam and you may have some answers to your questions.

    And ask yourself, as a gay man, why on the face of the earth ought you waste one ounce of your good will on a religion which would happily institutionalize your death?
    It seems to me that the question for homos to Muslims is, “Give me some good reasons why I ought NOT be Islamophobic?”

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