Misconceptions about Arabs in America

Misconceptions about Arabs in America
23/08/2017 Comments Off on Misconceptions about Arabs in America Sample Academic Papers admin

Arabs have nearly the oldest culture in the world. Many Arabs have migrated and settled in American for various reasons mostly economical and political. Although these Arab immigrants consider themselves more American than Arabs, many Americans still consider them to be outsiders, especially after the incidence of 9/11. Most American media stereotypes the Arab Americans predominantly in a negative manner. Even some American textbooks portray the Arabs with similar negative expressions. After the 9/11 terror attacks in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were of Saudi Arabian origin and all were Muslims, Arabs have faced increased inspection and racial profiling, especially at airports.

In a poll conducted by the Boston Globe, nearly 70 percent of whites believed that Arab Americans should undergo special and more intensive security checks at airports before being allowed to board planes. Some Arab Americans have complained of illegal detention and questioning for several hours without any viable reasons. Complainants have also been lodged in New York that the NYPD targets Muslim Communities in raids for alleged terror plots. These negative misconceptions have been perpetuated by the media, especially by movies made in Hollywood. As far back as 1921, famous actor Rudolph Valentino started the misunderstanding for the negative portrayal of Arabs in the movie ‘The Sheikh’ and later in 1926 movie the ‘Son of the Sheikh.

Both movies portrayed Arabs as nothing more than thieves, charlatans, murderers, and brutes. The American media portrays Arab Americans as the three ‘Bs’ or ‘bombers, belly dancers or billionaires which refers to Arab males being shown either as terrorists or as men who have plenty of wealth derived from oil. Arab women are portrayed as mere sex symbols. Even cartoons portray Arab Americans in a negative perspective which is accepted and absorbed by the white American children as being the real thing. This has invariably affected the Arabs who live and work in the US and helps feed into action that can be physically harmful by first destroying the Arab character before physically attacking them.

Since the American media is controlled by people who sympathize with Israel, the Arab-Israeli conflict has been blown all out of proportions. How does the Middle East conflict affect Arab Americans? Traditionally, most Arabs like to maintain close family ties with their relatives and friends who are back in the home country. They also like to help them and visit them occasionally or sponsor and encourage immigrants from their countries and Americans are given the impression that they are passing information or carrying out dubious activities when they go back home for visits.

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