One of the most dangerous mentalities people throughout the world can adopt is blaming a whole group for the actions of the few. While this has always been present throughout the history starting with women perceived as evil temptress and continuing to Hitler blaming all Jews for Germany’s problems. I feel that scapegoating is one of the most dangerous mentalities to have because it’s so easy to write a whole group off than to focus on the few who have actually done the wrong. My best friend is a Muslim American woman who is inadvertently apart of America’s media, governmental, and societal bashing due to terrorism attacks done by Islamic extremist groups. While she expresses that she doesn’t receive much discrimination on a daily basis I know that’s not the case for many other Muslims. After the attack on the twin towers many innocent Muslims were killed, terrorized, beaten, and their businesses vandalized all because they worshipped the same god as the perpetrators. There’s a favorite movie of mine called Mooz-Lum about 9/11 and the reproductions. In this movie the main character Tariq is targeted by his peers and society in terrible ways. On the day of the attacks where he feels helpless because he cannot protect either himself or the ones he loves. Having the ability to separate the wheat from the chaff is essential to life.
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When one person has preconceived notions about a whole group of people, they’re perceived to be racist and closed-minded; but when a country does on the governmental level, that’s life threatening. Within the last fifteen years the treatment of Muslims has only gotten worse due to the actions of ISIS and the recent media coverage of presidential elections on these issues. Huge families with women and children worship Islam and radicals only make up a small amount of that community. Mothers and fathers have to explain their children why their religion is a threat to themselves. Muslims are the new African Americans but on a worse scale because the discrimination doesn’t stop at our borders. They wonder how they should deal with bullies and discrimination. Non-Muslims make up the majority of terrorists in the United States. According to the FBI statistics, 94% of terrorist attacks carried out in the United States are committed by non-jihadist. While Islamic extremist groups are known to do more damage than others it’s still considered to be one act. The many shouldn’t be blamed for the few. All Muslims can’t be terrorists; otherwise, there would not be an America to speak of with the Muslim population reaching 1.8 million.
In its simplest form America is a playground bully. America will slander any and all who don’t agree with their opinion and get the media to further the witch hunt. The American government has the media in the back of their pocket. With every attack on a grand scale the media always has a premade script equipped with their go to scapegoat. Stereotypes of Muslims and Support on the War on Terror, is a source I implemented to support my belief in that the long ongoing and tax leeching war is fueled by the government and media. The sources used for this argument backs my opinion but there is no better source than history. History is a broken record that shows that America always has to have a main stream punching bag for the public to get behind.
HPR staff writer Eli Martin has a piece in today’s Crimson criticizing European “Islamophobia.” I don’t want to baldly disagree with Eli that “outright discrimination toward Muslims in Europe is becoming a reality.” But I do want to complicate things a bit.
Dutch anti-Muslim politician Geert Wilders
Eli implies that burqa bans and the like could only be products of Geert Wilders-esque prejudice, neglecting a serious left-wing (and, by my lights, unprejudiced) argument for them. In her famous essay, “Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women?” , Susan Moller Okin argues that a good liberal has to care not only about inter-group inequalities, but also intra-group inequalities. In other words, before we get too excited about multiculturalism and “group rights” designed to protect traditional cultures, we have to look at whether all of those groups’ practices are really worth preserving.
This seems presumptuous on first glance, but think about it: for almost any liberal there will be certain practices so abhorrent that they could not be tolerated in the name of multiculturalism (e.g. genital mutilation… I think we can agree on that one). So the question becomes where you draw the line between acceptable group practices and unacceptable ones. Reasonable liberals, I think, can draw that line in different places, which is why I’m not going to come down hard on one side of the debate about Europe’s “Islamophobia.”
But it is surely plausible to argue that many Muslim women are not donning the burqa voluntarily, as Eli assumes, or even that they are under the sway of some sort of false consciousness. Feminists made the some sorts of arguments and assumptions way back when, and they were thought presumptuous for suggesting that many women actually didn’t want to stay at home their whole lives. But you know what? The feminists were probably right about that one. And I’m not so sure that liberals like Okin are wrong about certain Muslim customs.
Photo credit: Wikipedia
Tags: Burqas, Discrimination, Eli Martin, Europe, Geert Wilders, Group Rights, Harvard Crimson, Harvard Students, IRS, Islam, Islamophobia, Liberalism, Liberals, Multiculturalism, Muslim, Muslims, Prejudice, Susan Moller Okin, Tradition, USA, Wikipedia, womenblog comments powered by