Discrimination Against Muslim Students

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Muslim Americans, who are viewed as members of a religion that supports violence, are targeted to rising discrimination in USA communities, schools and workplaces. A number of events have triggered such a negative perception of Muslims around the world, one of which is the September 11 terrorist attacks. Living in a post September 11 period has become necessarily difficult for Muslims and Arabs as they are often associated with terrorism and threat. This issue is especially challenging for Muslim American youth because they face adverse reactions from their friends and instructors, which affects their already vulnerable personality. Therefore, examining the Muslim students’ problems with regard to discrimination in USA schools and colleges…show more content…
The discrimination against them and their problems with the non-Muslim communities are emphasized by most of the researchers. According to Liese, Muslim students face verbal slurs, avoidance, discrimination, violence and murder at schools (as cited in Tindongan, 2011, p.84). Shammas (2009) states that due to prejudice and discrimination of others, Muslims engage in friendships with people sharing the same religious beliefs with them (p.289). The problems faced by Muslim students in USA educational institutes have been illustrated from various aspects; however, there is still a gap that needs to be discussed more precisely. The effect of discrimination on Muslim students’ psychology and educational success is a crucial issue to be researched. Therefore, my paper will outline the triggering factors of prejudice against Muslim students, describe the influences of emerged discrimination and discuss in which ways their vulnerable situation can be enhanced. Because of negative stereotypes of Islam in media and curriculum, Muslim students face discrimination by their educators and other students, which brings about problems with their psychology and educational success. However, these problems of Muslim students can be avoided by changing policies in educational institutions to help them and by curriculum that is sensitive towards…show more content…
As a result, less sensitive and low informed school curriculum brings about discrimination of Muslim students by their educators and fellow non-Muslim students. Having little information about any topic creates doubts or misperceptions about it. Similarly, according to Zadal (2012), counselors and educators can unintentionally work against Muslim students’ religious beliefs when they are not informed enough about Islam (p.183). Inappropriate information about Islam in curriculum is an even more problematic issue. Zadal argues that Muslim children spot substantial differences between their knowledge about Islam and the portrayal of their religion by instructors and textbooks in USA (p.185). The existence of activities that might associate Islam with terrorism can humiliate Muslim students a lot. For example, in a middle school in USA, a history teacher presented an activity in the class on the 10th anniversary of September 11 attacks. First, students had to write about their feelings about the construction of a mosque near the World Trade Center site in New York City. Second, they were required to build a paragraph using the following vocabulary words: Al Qaeda, terrorist, Islam, Muslim, hijacker, and Islamist. This exercise made Muslim students feel humiliated and created their parents’ worries (p.555).

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