Muslim Integration and Hate Crimes essay
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Muslims integration in the United States of America has gained increased attention in the recent past. Muslims in America have continued to enjoy remarkable growth over the years. Majority of the Muslims believe that the most of the American values are consistent with their own Islam values (Angenendt and Barret Et-al 75). Among these values are hard work, liberty, entrepreneurship, institutionalization of politics, and the civilian control of the military. Muslims enjoy endless presence in the United States for over a century though their participation in the American public life remains negligible.
A poll by The American Muslim reveal that the ordinary American Muslim is well educated and well off economically than average young Americans. More than 75% of the respondents revealed that they take part in community activities like helping the underprivileged, the destitute, the aged, and the sick. 60 percent of the Muslims confessed to be thriving while only 37% confessed to be struggling to survive in the United States of America.
Integration has been much easier in the United States of America than in other European countries because Muslims are considered as citizens. They are likely to survive on their own through hard work since the labor market can easily employ them on condition that they possess the desired qualifications, unlike in Europe where the labor market is discriminatory against Muslims. Research shows that 71% of Muslims living in the United States of America believe that they can make their lives comfortable through hard work (Laurence and Strum, pg 8).
Muslims in the united stated confess to having close friends who are non-Muslims. They also express their way of living as happy. Citizens in America are ready to associate with the Muslims migrants and interact freely with them. Muslims are ready to accommodate and start living the America lifestyle. Moreover, they start working immediately they arrive in the United States, making them contribute largely to the communities, they settle with. In addition, the Muslims are quick to learn English, which has helped them interact and communicate with the American citizens with ease (Angenendt and Barret Et-al 75).
Despite efforts by Muslims to integrate into the American lives, increasing number of Muslims is complaining of discrimination since the September 11 attacks. Many Muslims now live in fear of arrests and brands of terrorism. Consequently, Muslims continue complaining of discrimination at work places, with their non-Muslims colleagues referring to them as Osama or as terrorists. Moreover, some employers bar Muslims women from putting on head scarves or barring them from their prayer breaks. Americans have become more wary of the American Muslims since the attack and as a result of years of fights in Afghanistan and Iraq (Ajrouch 321).
Nearly a decade after the terrorist attack of 11/9, some Muslims that their religious freedom is facing limits since the attack. Some Muslims opted to stop wearing the traditional Muslims robes because of the stares and attention they attract from the public. Research also proves that Muslim women who wear the headscarves have high chances of facing discrimination than those who do not wear the scarves. This is because; the scarves make the women stand out from the crowd thus increasing chances of discrimination against them.
Since the year 2001, job discrimination against Americans with Muslim names has skyrocketed. A report by Equal Employments Opportunity Commission reveals that it is harder for Arabs with Muslims names than to get employments that the Arabs with Christian names. Similar research shows that Muslims names prove to be liabilities to people looking for jobs. In fact, many minority elites opt to change their names to Christian sounding names to increase their chances of getting a white collar job in the United States of America.
After the attacks, the number of hate crimes towards American Muslims escalated significantly. In 2001, the hate crimes accounted for five percent of all the hate crimes reported. There was a seventeen percent increase in hate crime towards Muslims and the number has remained higher than the years before the terrorist attack (Laurence and Strum 8). Many people who confess Islam as their religion has died in mysterious circumstances after being branded as terrorists.
At the same time, there are claims that the FBI counterterrorism training makes use of Anti-Muslim propaganda. The controversial training materials state among other things, that mainstream Muslims, have larger chances of being sympathetic to terrorism, while the more devout the Muslim is, the higher the chances of him being violent. This explains why there is biased policing against the Muslims as a result of the biased training.
Despite the fact that Islam in America remains mainly undocumented and unknown, they have made various and deep contribution to the American life. Their status in the United States of America remains unique as compared to their counterparts in Europe. They are largely integrated and even identify themselves first with their citizenship then with the religion. The community remains resilient in the face of all challenges facing them especially after the September 11 attacks. They embarked on political advocacy, activism in the grassroots levels and interfaith outreach programs to fight against hate crime directed towards them. The consequence is the emergence of a Muslim community with affirmative community identity, widespread political and social connections, and a deeper dedication to conserving the political, social, and legal institutions in America. However, the fight against hate crime remains a challenge to the complete and effective integration of the Muslims in America. Human rights groups and the government still have a lot to do to ensure that hate speech is dealt with and, discrimination against Muslims stopped.