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Arab Stereotypes

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There are many types of stereotypes in the world; however, one that really stands out to me is the Arab stereotype. The Arab stereotype is offensive toward the Arab people. The media views the ideal Arab as a “terrorist”. The media also views Arabs as un-educated street rats, thieves, and anti-American. However, the media should really look into the reality of Arab lives to actually depict them. Therefore, the media should not judge Arabs when the media does not even know who they are.

The media views the ideal Arab as a “terrorist”, now this word can mean many things. However, the dictionary definition of the word “terrorist” is a person, usually a member of a group, who uses or advocates terrorism (an act of terror upon others). That definition comes from Dictionary.com and is the true meaning of a “terrorist”. So, Arabs are being called this word for no reason. This word does not define an Arab, and an Arab does not define this word. This is really hurtful towards Arabs and I plan to stop it. How? Well I have to start small that is why I am writing this essay. People should reconsider this hurtful word before using it on Arabs. Arabs are now called “terrorists” because of the 9/11 attack. Do not get me wrong, that was a hard time for the U.S and was a true tragedy. Many people died, and many families were left heartbroken. However, there is no proof that this attack was done by an Arab. This attack could have been done by any type of person, but why did everyone all of a sudden choose an Arab? The U.S says that Osama Bin Laden was the man that caused the terrorist attack on 9/11, however, there is still no proof. The government says Osama is a “terrorist”, therefore, causing the rest of the world to think all Arabs are “terrorists”. Furthermore, Osama Bin Laden was not even an Arab, he was from Afghanistan. So why are Arabs “terrorists”? We do not know, but do not think that I am calling people from Afghanistan “terrorists” because I am not. People from Afghanistan are also called mean things and have negatives stereotypes aimed at them. I have personal experience with this because I have been called a “terrorist” before. People have seen me, found out that I am Arab, and immediately assume that I am a terrorist. I am not a terrorist; I am nothing but a peaceful guy. However, people do not look into that. People just look into the racial stereotypes of Arabs and automatically assume that I am one. Another example would be when I went to pray at the Mosque a month ago. After the prayer was over, I was walking outside with my dad and brother when one car drove by and a male screamed out “Terrorists!” this really angered me. However, my dad told me it was okay and to just forget about it. The world should begin to realize how hurtful these Arab stereotypes can really be. Ultimately, Arabs are not “terrorists”; they are peaceful people just like everyone else.

The media also views Arabs as thieves or as bad people or the wrong people. Although we are foreign, we are not thieves or bad people. There could be many reasons for people to think this. One reason could be because of movies/ T.V shows. In the movie Aladdin, Aladdin is an Arab, a street rat and, a thief. This can send world wide messages to people saying that all Arabs are thieves, or all Arabs are street rats. This really gets to me because I am Arab, and I am neither a thief nor a street rat. I do have a family that cares for me and keeps me off the street. One huge example would be the video called “Ackmed the dead Terrorist”; now this video is just dumb. This is extremely racist and offensive to the Arab and Muslim people. Not only does this offend the Arab people, it offends the whole Muslim religion. The skeleton is labeled a “terrorist” because of his beard and a towel on his head. In this video, the skeleton, Ackmed, could not even spell his own name. That is just absurd. What does this show to the public? That Arabs are un-educated. I can not believe this video is still out there it should be taken down immediately. An example of a T.V show with an Arab stereotype would be the old cartoon “Popeye: Ali Baba and the 40 thieves”, where the Arab is the villain who steals, and can not even speak any language. The man could not speak English, or Arabic, just gibberish. Now this gives people the notion that some Arabs are uneducated. But then again, there are many Arabian scholars and even Arabian teachers all around the world. There are many educated Arabs, and I think we can show the world this by treating them fairly and giving them a chance. If the world just let Arabs show who they really are, the world will realize that they are not harmful people at all. The world will realize otherwise, and find out that Arabs are educated, and Arabs are not street rats.

The last Arabic stereotype the media has is that we are all anti-American. Anti-American means that Arabs are against the United States of America. However, this is not true. The media has these views because the U.S government is pro-Israel, and currently the Arabian land of Palestine, is under Israeli occupation. Therefore, this causes the media to think that the Arabs are against America because of the dispute going on in Israel. However, again this is not true. I am an Arab and come from an Arab household, and no one in my family is anti-American. Therefore, Arabs are not anti- American and this stereotype of Arabs is wrong.

There are many opinions and beliefs on Arabs in America. However, they are all stereotypes. The media shows the ideal Arab as a “terrorist”. The media also shows us as thieves and un-educated. Finally the media shows us Arabs as anti-American. In conclusion, the stereotypes of Arabs are all wrong and ridiculous.





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Amrun said...
Jan. 25, 2012 at 3:56 am
Salamu Alaikum, I read your article and as a fellow Arab I appreciate what you are trying to do. I do however have some criticism, for one thing Osama Bin Laden was Arab, he was from a wealthy family in Saudi Arabia. I think before you write about a topic as big as this you need to do research about the who and whats. Also there are other Arab stereotypes that you didn't talk about that may be older but are still around. An example is of Arab men all being womanizers and wife beaters, and Arab ... (more »)
 
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