Homogenized Friendships

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These negative experiences in educational institutes trigger a desire in Muslim students want to engage in homogenized friendships in order to be more comfortable and avoid discrimination by non-Muslim friends. According to Asmar, homogenized friendships protect Muslim students from the influence of perceived discrimination (as cited in Shammas, 2009, p.288). That is, when they only have Muslim friends, they are less likely to feel the pressure of being different and they don’t pay additional effort to explain themselves accurately. Moreover, Muslim students feel more protected from discrimination and comfortable in single faith friendships. Therefore, Shammas (2009) states that among Arab and Muslim students, the percentage of homogenized…show more content…
According to Steele (1997), there is a social-psychological threat called stereotype threat, which is able to influence the members of negatively stereotyped groups. When members of these groups are in areas where the stereotypes exist, they adopt the fear of falling to those stereotypes (p.614). Moreover, when they remain exposed to these stereotypes for a long period, they internalize them, and their personalities adopt the feeling of inferior (p.617). Therefore, marginalized groups feel less able and inferior in their educational capability too. As a result, Steele argues that they become less motivated and perform poorly in education (p.614). Muslim students in American educational institutions are clear examples of these stereotyped groups. Thus, as they are subject to more severe discrimination, they tend to have lower academic success. Nasir and Al-Amin (2006) state that Muslim students always feel the need to deal with others’ false views of Islam, and this process also reduces the energy that they have to devote to their lessons (p.25). Moreover, when faced with discriminative environment, these students disconnect themselves from campuses and schools in general. Muslim students report that especially prejudice and misunderstandings by their educators influence their educational performance directly. For example, Rashid, who is a Muslim student, had a bad relationship with his instructor and didn’t do some readings for his Islamic studies course because he thought that they misrepresented Islam. As a result, he got low grades for some other courses taught by his instructor (Nasir and Al-Amin, 2006,
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