Arab-Americans and Muslims
There has been a skeptical view of the Arab Muslims by the Americans for many years. Since the grant of freedom by the Europeans, there have been consistent civil wars experienced in Arab countries. This has resulted in the development of stereotypes of the Arabs by the Americans transferred from generation to generation. The Americans perceive Arabs as illiterate and semi-illiterate people incapable of doing nothing beyond the rearing of camels.
The 9/11 attack in the US by Islamic terrorists further deepened the negative relationship between the Arabs and the Americans. Apart from the perception of illiteracy, the Arabs were associated with terrorism. The Americans perceive the Arabs wearing turbans and headscarves as terrorists. This causes reduced interaction between the American and the Arab youths even in school.
There is a consistent despising of the Muslim society living in the US. Although Muslims have lived in the US for many decades, the perception and relationship of the Americans and Arabs are becoming more uneven rather than improving. The cases of terrorism, religion and Arab culture make the Americans despise the Arabs. Although an Arab may hold an executive position in the workplace, this does not change the perception of the Arabs by the Americans.
The stereotypes developed and passed to future generations have negative effects on the lives of the Muslim youths living in the US. The Muslim youths have to negotiate their identities in every place, such as homes, schools, and society. The identity dates back from colonialism to the modern era. The rise in terrorism activities in the Arab world also worsens the negative perception of the Arabs. The terrorism activities make the Americans view Arabs as hostile, unfriendly, and inhuman. When an American is among Muslim people, he/she will feel insecure.
Many American parents advise their children to avoid close interaction with Muslim children. The radicalization of Islam has transformed some Americans to join Islam religion and engage in terrorism activities. These activities reduce the interaction of Americans and Arabs and make their relationship more risky than beneficial. However, the solution to negative perception relies on the Arab Muslims eliminating the cultural and religious practices that destroy their relationship with the Americans, such as Islam radicalization, improving education levels, and promoting positive aspects of the Arab and Islam culture to overcome the negative image.
Social workers should realize the existing differences and stereotypes relating to Americans and Arabs. Realizing the differences will help them in overcoming the social differences experienced at work. The social workers should offer advice on the need for interaction and integration of communities regardless of the differences in religion or culture. The two cultures should be accommodating each other in their lifestyles. For instance, an American should not feel insecure when surrounded by Islamic neighbors. Therefore, the social workers should encourage both the whites and Arabs to live together and participate equally in development activities. This will help in reducing the differences, stereotypes, and negative ethnicity between the two cultures. Moreover, encouraging children to attend the same schools as whites and participate in various activities at schools and homes will help in reducing the differences in the future. This will create positive cultural competency between the two cultures. The future generations will view the Arabs as normal people despite differences in color and race.