"All humans are members of the same body Created from one essence"

"Human beings are members of a whole in creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, other members uneasy will remain."

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Race and Ethnicity: We must combat Prejudice

According to Hermstein & Murray (2008), almost every year, researchers in the U.S. ask a representative sample of U.S. adults to rank racial and ethnic categories with regard to overall intelligence.

Survey research shows that people in the United States tend to view some racial and ethnic categories as more intelligent and trustful than others.

Social scientists consider any such differences a reflection of environment and culture rather than innate intelligence!

Do we have to downplay our ethnicity as a way to avoid prejudice and discrimination? I do not agree with that!

The fact that some of the terrorist attacks have been carried out by Arabs encourages some people to link being Arab or holding an Arabic name with being a terrorist. Of course, this attitude is unfair because it blames an entire category of people for the actions of a few individuals!

According to Ali & Juarez (2003), Ali, Lipper, & Mack (2004), and Hagopian (2004), People holding an Arabic name around the world have been targets of an increasing number of hate crimes and many feel that they are subject to "ethnic profiling" that threatens their privacy and civil liberties.

Charles Hamilton (1967) described institutional racism as "racism at work in the operation of social institutions, including the economy, schools, hospitals, the military, and the criminal justice system."

Racial profiling, in which police or others in power consider race or ethnicity to be, by itself, a sign of probable guilt, illustrates the operation of institutional racism.

It is difficult to hold an Arabic name today because people would always look at you with suspicious eyes! When you are asked at the immigration to "Please, wait here" or "can you follow me, please", your heart will drop straight down at high speed! oh yes just because of your name!!! You are called Fatma or your name start with Abdul and that is it! They will keep you longer at any immigration post and then with no explanations or apologies, you will be asked to continue your journey.

But how can you continue your journey after you had experienced racial profiling! All these experiences at the airports, at the consulates to ask for visas, or at the embassies are great examples of intolerance and prejudice.

But we all live together in the same world and it should be a world were people live together in it and not against each other.

That is why I believe that teachers can fight discrimination, prejudice, and racism in classrooms through educational programs designed to recognize cultural diversity and to promote respect for all cultural traditions.

In France, a law passed in March 2004 that outlaws the wearing of "conspicuous religious symbols" in public schools. The law has aroused immense controversy because it forbids Muslims female to wear hijab. In December 2003, people demonstrated in Paris to protest a law forbidding Islamic veils in French schools.

But what most of the people in France do not understand, women who wear the hijab made the personal decision to wear it. They explain that at the root of the hijab is the philosophy that a woman should be regarded for her personality, mind, and abilities rather than her physicality. Well, that is their choice and we have to respect it! According to Mariam Rahmani, "the Hijab encapsulates the spirit of independent thought."

But in France, most of the people view the Islamic Hijab as a symbol of male oppression. But believe me, most of the women who have decided to wear the hijab have chosen to do so. Legislation of the law in March 2004 in France had only succeeded in ostracizing the women who have decided to cover their head!

We are all living in the same planet so no one should suffer discirmination because we choose to live differently, wear differently, or hold different names!

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