Brittney SWK280 Blog Entry
Born a white American, I spent nineteen years without ever truly realizing the privileges that were given to me at birth. Reality truly hit when I converted to Islam. Once I proclaimed to be a Muslim, I felt as if I was being kicked out of the culture in which I had grown up. Breaking cultural norms that are so embedded into the society, such as religion, can lead to being ostracized by one’s culture group. For me, this occurred. I feel I have been ostracized by the only culture I know and the culture to which I still believe I belong.
From this personal experience I have realized that religion is one of the strongest parts of a cultural group. A religion brings so much more to the table then just a set of beliefs, but instead religion can define so many things, such as habits, attire, diet, morals, values, beliefs, holidays, income/money usage and even language in some cases (Marsiglia&Kulis,2009).
I think one of the reasons why I have been kicked out of my cultural group is that Muslims tend to be stereotyped by the image that is portrayed by the media and placed under an incorrect label. I also see that all Muslim’s have become a scapegoat even though many problems are being caused by a minuscule percentage of the Muslim community. If people were to take the time to actually learn the religion and make contact with people of other religions, eventually I believe these stereotypes would disappear. The contact theory points to one of the best ways in my opinion for stereotypes to be broken (Marsiglia&Kulis,2009).
I ask you to take the time and watch this video and witness the many prejudices and stereotypes that are being forced on Muslims in this Fox News video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZT54PpHdT0E&feature=player_detailpage In this video at least the Muslim community has someone trying to defend it, but typically in many Fox news reports there is no defender to be found. The stereotypes are not just being made up in the minds of everyday people. They are instead being falsely created and reinforced by people so many Americans trust such as our media employees and news anchors. These false beliefs about the Muslim people create a barrier and irrational fear between people. This article (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/01/21/study-americans-prejudiced-muslims/ ) gives the statistics of prejudice acts towards Muslim, and shows how these prejudices are growing at phenomenal rates.
As it is said in our text book, Diversity, Oppression and Change by Marsiglia and Kulis (2009), religion can either unite the people or can cause social conflict. It boils done to a simple thing called respect. We need to respect each other no matter our differences, whether race, religion, sex, education, age or social class. We are all humans and if we truly try to understand each other with an open mind, respect and appreciation for each other will soon grow.
Marsiglia, F. F., & Kulis, S. S. (2009). Diversity, oppression, and change: culturally grounded social work. Chicago: Lyceum Books.
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