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Blog Post 11/10

It’s obvious that Islamophobia is on the rise in America and in the world.  And the rhetoric being used now is much more openly Islamaphobic instead of the coded messaging used before.  I never really thought about Islamophobia before 9/11, and I thought it was interesting how Elba brought it all the way back to slavery.  Once again I was ignorant about some African slaves practicing Islam, as I was alway taught about Traditional African Relgions.  Although it makes sense that many slaves would have practiced Islam when they were brought to America, as it is one of the oldest and most widely practiced religions in the world.

I found the article’s definition of Islamophobia to be very interesting, “The presumption that Islam is violent, inassimilable, and prone to terrorism.”  The amount of Americans who believe that Islam is a violent religion by nature is drastically high.  Where Pew Research Center did a poll and found a whopping 41 percent of Americans believe that Islam encourages violence.  Overall, the rate of Islamophobia is definitely on the rise.  Recent rhetoric has shown that Americans aren’t only indifferent to it, rather they invite anti-islam rhetoric.  If we are supposed to be a “melting pot” we need to be accepting of all cultures.  Unfortunately it seems like we are failing.  

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6 Comments

  1. Samuel Hussey Samuel Hussey

    I liked your points on how we never learned about African Muslims in the slave trade. We have been taught that Muslims are a certain kind of people from the middle east who look a certain way. However, there are Muslims all over the world in Asia, Africa, and North America who look and act in all different ways. We have been taught to stereotype a certain ethnicity as entirely Muslim when that same ethnicity/region started Judaism and Christianity. The article discussed how Christians from the middle east had trouble getting citizenship into the country in the past because they were assumed to be Muslim.

  2. Jeffrey Sprung Jeffrey Sprung

    Due to the information that we learned in the podcast, I find it very unfortunate that 41 percent of Americans still believe that Islam encourages violence. This statistic exemplifies the fact that the 9/11 terrorist attacks engrained negative sentiments towards Islamic nations and the Muslim religion, which unfortunately still remains prevalent to this day.

  3. Carly Cohen Carly Cohen

    I agree with your points. The recent rise in Islamphobia is very disheartening and does not look good on our country. The fact that 41% of Americans truly believe that Islam encourages violence shows the true ignorance of our country. I am saddened to hear these statistics.

  4. Alexandra Oloughlin Alexandra Oloughlin

    You made some really good points, and I too was surprised when Elba told of how African Muslims were enslaved during slavery. It makes sense, because Islam is a religion, just like Christianity, or Judaism yet in popular knowledge, it is associated with a certain ethnicity and look. Is there a realistic way to change this? By allowing this stereotype of what a Muslim looks like, and associating it with violence, we are harming an entire group of people.

  5. Margot Roussel Margot Roussel

    I also didn’t know that any of the enslaved people brought over practiced Islam but through my FYS that focuses on Egypt and much of Northern Africa, I have learned how wide spread the religion is. I have been able to learn a lot about Islam too, and I didn’t even know that it was similar to Judaism and Christianity until learning that it was based off of many of the same stories too. I think the people in the US are not taught enough about what Islam actually is and this leads to ignorance and danger.

  6. Annie Waters Annie Waters

    I think that American Islamophobia is really interesting because of the normalcy of Christianity in America and the basic similarities between Islam and Christianity. The two religions share commandments, both recognize Jesus as a holy figure (though Islam recognizes Jesus as only a prophet and not the son of God), and Islam accepts the teachings of the Bible and further expands on it through the Qu’ran. Most differences between these two religions are pretty small, except for that of cultural context. It’s strange to me that people who condone Christianity will simultaneously denounce Islam until you take into account the ethnicity of people associated with each religion. When Americans perceive Islam as a “violent” religion, I think they’re likely more motivated by white supremacy than by legitimate disapproval of the teachings of Islam.

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