Table of Contents
The Muslim world faces a great challenge in the current age. Most of the developed countries in the world view Muslim countries as the ones that funds terrorism activities in the world. Every act of terrorism in the world is usually said to have been committed by Muslims. United State is one of the leading countries in stereotyping Muslims as terrorists. Since 1990s Americans have been on war with Muslim countries. They have attacked many Muslim countries in the name of fighting terrorism.
These stereotyping of the Americans against the Muslims resulted from the series of attacks on American citizens from terrorists possessing Islamic faith. The major event that made Americans and other rich nations to launch war against the Muslim countries which are believed to be in support of terrorism activities is the September 11 terrorism attack on the American soil. There are number of attacks on American embassies in different countries which are believed to have been spearheaded by terrorist who posses Islamic faith.
This stereotyping of Muslims as terrorists has greatly affected the social, economic and political development of many Muslim countries. Iran and Iraq have come under fire from the Americans as the leading Muslim countries in supporting terrorist activities. These stereotyping resulted into American war in Iraq which has claimed many lives as well as destruction of properties. On the other hand, Iran faces many economic sanctions due to its nuclear plans. They are believed to be launching nuclear plants to come up with nuclear weapons aimed at helping terrorist attack Americans. This form of stereotype has impacted negatively on the Iran economy because now it cannot trade with many countries in the world due to the various sanctions that have been put forward by the United Nations.
The religious leaders have a greater role to play in challenging the stereotype the Muslim countries receive from the Americans. They should use the Islamic faith as the weapon of addressing this challenge that those who possess Islamic faith faces in the hands of the Americans. They should demonstrate to the Americans that countries such as Saudi Arabia which majority of their citizens are Muslims have developed and they are not in way supporting terrorism activities rather they are supporting peace and developments efforts in the world. It is up to then to convince the Americans and other nations that view Muslim as terrorist that the Islamic faith is not built on the principles of criminal activities those results into loss of lives and properties. They should in turn prove to the Americans that Islamic faith is built on the principle of love, peace and respect for lives and properties.
It is my belief that Islam does not support terrorism in anyway and there is no one time that Muslim countries have hated the Americans. It is important for the Americans to take those involved in terrorism activities as normal criminals rather than stereotyping all the Muslims as terrorists. This paper addresses the role of Muslim countries leaders in challenging the stereotype that is held by Americans and other developed countries.
In order to achieve these goals they have to come up with tangible proof to act as their weapon to challenge the stereotype held by the Americans against the Muslim countries. They have to demonstrate how Islamic faith has been used in various parts of the world to fight terrorism.
The main role of this essay is to demonstrate how Islamic faith has contributed toward the fight against terrorism activities in the world. The paper will also demonstrate how Islamic leaders can use Islamic faith to challenge the stereotype held against the Muslims by the Americans. The essay will also identify various economic and diplomatic strategies that can be used in addressing the stereotype that is held by the American over the Muslim countries.
Stereotyping can be defined as that formulaic, conventional as well as the oversimplified opinion, conception or image about a certain individual or group of people. Muslims are a group of people who have been stereotyped in negative ways by the Americans. This form of stereotype toward those who posses’ Islamic faith has resulted due to a number of evils committed against Americans by some terrorists that possess the Islamic faith.
One of the stereotypes that the Americans have over Muslims is that they are very vengeful. They are of the opinion that those who hold the Islamic faith tends to be very vengeful in nature. This makes them an enemy of the Americans because they are viewed as after aiming to attack the Americans to avenge the stand taken by Americans in the fight against terrorism.
Secondly Americans view Muslims as people who hate United States of America. Americans think that the Muslims are always planning to attack the Americans due to the hatred they have over them. Their hatred is viewed as have originated from the American military invasion of the Persian Gulf.
One of the greatest stereotype held by the Americans over the Muslim community allover the world is that they are of the view that Muslims are terrorists. These stereotyping of the Americans against the Muslims resulted from the series of attacks on American citizens from terrorists possessing Islamic faith. The major event that made Americans and other rich nations to launch war against the Muslim countries which are believed to be in support of terrorism activities is the September 11 terrorism attack on the American soil. There are number of attacks on American embassies in different countries which are believed to have been spearheaded by terrorist who posses Islamic faith (Hurley and Jennifer, 234).
Americans also are of the opinion that Muslims are very intimidating as well as abusive. They tend to be very intimidating in the way they behave towards Americans and her friends. They tend to come with policies aimed at intimidating Americans such nuclear plans. Muslim countries are also viewed as being abusive in terms of getting into other countries territories and claiming that those territories are theirs.
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Muslim women face a challenge of wearing hijab. Hijab are usually wears by Muslim ladies is a religious duty aimed at preserving them. Muslim girls tend to face different types of issues because of their behavior of wearing hijab in communal places. Various contribute to this kind of challenges. Majority of these issues tends to arise in the school environment where the Muslim girls tend to believe that it’s their right to wear hijabs in schools. Those girls who tend to insist that it’s their right to wear their hijabs are told they have to conform to the various school policies which state the kind of uniform that students should wear while in school. This type of policy undermines the Islamic faith because the type of hijabs that Muslim women carries an important weight in their faith. The stereotype of Muslim women in schools should be avoided at all cost.
The above stereotype over the Muslims is carried by various Americans all walks of life. American students are one of the groups of people that have negative stereotype toward the Muslims. They carry this type of opinions over Muslims in their day to day school activities. This is evident in the way they treat those students who possess Islamic faith in their schools. Research has shown that American students who possess Islamic faith tend to be stigma zed by others due to the negative opinion over the Muslims. They tend to call them terrorists.
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Another group of people which tends to have a negative image over the Muslims is the U.S government officials. Officials tend to treat those who possess Muslim faith with some suspicion as well as some contempt. It is worse for them in airports where they have to undergo vigorous security checks. It is the belief of every American government official that all Muslims are terrorists or they either hate U.S. The unfair treatment that Muslims receives from American government officials when entering U.S shows that American have a negative image toward the whole of Muslim community.
Policy makers also have negative image toward Muslim countries. They tend to advocate for tougher policies aimed at keeping at bay any threat that may rise from the Muslim countries. They tend to be more tougher is a Muslim state is engage in activities that tend to make it appear strong in terms of it military. They tend to push for sanctions against the country in question. These efforts are aimed at ensuring that the efforts of that country of becoming strong economically or military wise are contained. This is evident in the case of Iran which has faced much opposition for its nuclear plan from the western country (Shaheen and Jack, 46). It this stereotype that Muslims are terrorists that make the Americans fear that if Iran is allowed to go ahead with it nuclear plans it may develop nuclear weapons which may in turn posse a threat to the security of Americans.
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Finally, film makers also have the tendency of developing films that indicate that Muslims are terrorists or haters of the American people. A number of films have been developed over the years bringing out Muslim countries as the worst enemies of the American people. They films are the clear indication of the kind of image that the Americans people have over the Muslim states to an extent of coming up with films aimed at bringing a negative image of the Islamic faith.
There are various reasons that have contributed toward the stereotype that is held by the Americans over the Muslims. The September 11 incident will remain in the mind of Americans forever. This one of the major that shaped the kind of majority of the Americans has over the Muslim countries. The attack is believed to have been organized by Muslim terrorists from an Islamic country. The allegations make the Americans believe that every Muslim is either a hater of the U.S or is a terrorist.
On the other hand many American embassies have come under terrorists’ attacks that are believed to possess Islamic faith. One of the historic cases is 1999 bombing of the American embassy in Kenya. These types of attacks on American citizens both at home and in foreign countries have played a major part in development of the stereotype that is held by Americans toward the Muslim countries.
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The constant war between Americans and Muslim countries is another major reason why Americans have a negative image toward Muslim countries. American government has been at war with countries like Iraq and Afghanistan for the last two decades. This is a clear indication that Americans do not trust any Muslim countries at all (Leonard and Karen, 245).
Muslim countries leaders as well as those who possess the Islamic faith have a greater task at hand of making the Americans believe that Muslims are not their enemies but rather they are they are their friends. They should also be able to come up with strategies that are aimed at changing the perception that the world hold over the Muslims. The perception that Muslims are the terrorists should be a thing of the past. Muslim leaders have all it takes to transform the negative image of Muslim communities to a positive one. It is my belief that Muslims are peace loving people who should not be stereotyped as terrorist or haters of Americans.
The religious leaders from Islamic countries should let the Americans people understand the various principles under which the Islamic faith is built. They should let educate the Americans that the Islamic faith teaches Muslims to be peace loving people as well as the importance of loving their neighbors. This can be done through organizing public lectures to educate people what the Islamic faith entails. This type of strategy will bring a deeper understanding to Americans of what Islamic really is and the teachings of Islamic faith. It will help in countering the misconception that majority of the Americans have over the Muslims (Suleiman and Michael, 40).
Majority of the Americans are of the view that the Islamic faith encourages the Muslims to attack Americans. Through various lectures this stereotype will be a thing of the past. . They should demonstrate to the Americans that countries such as Saudi Arabia which majority of their citizens are Muslims have developed and they are not in way supporting terrorism activities rather they are supporting peace and developments efforts in the world. It is up to then to convince the Americans and other nations that view Muslim as terrorist that the Islamic faith is not built on the principles of criminal activities those results into loss of lives and properties. They should in turn prove to the Americans that Islamic faith is built on the principle of love, peace and respect for lives and properties (Molwana, Hamid and George, 156)
One of the ways that the Muslim leaders can challenge the stereotype held by Americans over Muslims is through joining the Americans in the fight against terrorism. It is up to the Muslim countries to cooperate with other countries in the fight against terrorism by ensuring that they do not hide terrorists in their territories. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have been on the forefront in fighting terrorism in the world. This is a clear indication that Muslims do not support terrorism in any way (Nacos, Brigitte and Oscar, 78). The stereotype held by Americans that Muslims are terrorist should be changed because various Muslim countries have shown their intentions and efforts to eliminate terrorists from their territories.
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One of the major strategies that can be adopted by Muslim countries leaders is to start trading ties with Americans. This will play a major role in eliminating the stereotype that Muslim countries do hate Americans. Through various economic and socio-cultural exchange programs between Muslim countries and the Americans the spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood would be developed thereby eliminating the stereotype of enmity will be over come. It is up to Muslim leaders to come up with policies in their individuals countries aimed at encouraging trade between them and the Americans.
Finally the Muslim leaders as well as Muslims have role to play in opposing films from being aired that stereotype them as terrorists. They should oppose these films because they fuel the stereotype that Americans as well as other people have over the Islamic faith as well as Muslims as people.
I strongly believe that Muslims are good people who do not support terrorism activities in the world. Given the Islamic faith which is based on the Quran which teaches the Muslims to be peaceful, to respect life and to love their neighbors; therefore it would be unrealistic to base our conclusion that Muslims are terrorists by basing our argument from activities of a group of criminals.
This stereotyping of Muslims as terrorists has greatly affected the social, economic and political development of many Muslim countries. Iran and Iraq have come under fire from the Americans as the leading Muslim countries in supporting terrorist activities. These stereotyping resulted into American war in Iraq which has claimed many lives as well as destruction of properties. On the other hand, Iran faces many economic sanctions due to its nuclear plans. They are believed to be launching nuclear plants to come up with nuclear weapons aimed at helping terrorist attack Americans.
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It is important to note that countries like Saudi Arabia and United Arab States are some of the good examples of Muslim countries that have been using their wealth to transform the Middle East region through the wealth create through various economic activities. These are a sign that Muslims are not after funding terrorism activities in the world.
In order to overcome the negative attitude that Americans have toward Muslims, various Muslim leaders both religious and political leaders have a greater role of challenging these stereotypes through proofing to the world that Muslims are completely different from what people view them. They have to act both social, economically as well as politically to ensure that they eliminate the negative attitude of the Americans toward Muslims.
In conclusion, it is my belief that Muslims are very good people who support peace and prosperity in the world and actions from some group of criminals should not be used basis of forming a negative image toward the Muslim countries.