Anti-Arab Racism Research Proposal

Pages: 10 (3088 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Terrorism

Anti-Arab Racism

The objective of this work is to conduct a review of literature addressing the question of whether post-9/11 has been a significant factor in promoting popular consent for the erosion of civil liberties for all Americans? Has islamophoibia provoked people to give up their civil liberties through the reinvigoration of Anti-Arab racism?

The work of Rami El-Amine (2006) entitled: "Anti-Arab Racism, Islamophobia, and the Anti-War Movement" states that racism against Muslims and Arabs was around long before the terrorist attacks of 9-11 and that much of this racism has its basis in "Western Imperialism in the Middle East, especially Israel's colonization of Palestine." El-amine reports that the ABC-Washington Post poll of March 2006 states findings that it is the belief of people in the Untied States that "Muslims are disproportionately prone to violence." (2006) Forty-six percent of thee individuals expressed a view of the religion of Islam that is negative which is seven percent higher than the negative views held by individuals polled immediately after the terrorist attacks of 9-11. Findings in the poll are stated to include the fact that twenty-five percent of individuals in the United States acknowledged that they harbored prejudice toward Muslims and Arabs. El-Amine states that the "institutional effect of this racism is stark." (2006)Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Research Proposal on Anti-Arab Racism Assignment

Evidence of this prejudice is stated to be noted in the fact that Arab and Muslim men working in the United States had experienced a ten-percent drop in wages earned since 9-11 with the greatest drop in wages being in areas that reported high rates of hate crimes. El-Amine states that this is no surprise when one considers the extent of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism "perpetrated by governments and the media around the world." (2006) El-Amine states that while blatant racism such has been witnessed in other countries has not been existent in the United States, there still have been incidents of such. Examples stated by El-Amine include the following:

1) in 2005 a radio host in Washington DC, "referred to Islam as a 'terrorist organization' on his show;

2) "The Coalition for a Secure Driver's License started a campaign to put up "Don't License Terrorists" billboards depicting an Arab holding a hand grenade in one hand and a driver license smeared with blood in the other; and 3) Republican Congressman Tancredo of Colorado openly called for the U.S. To preempt a terrorist attack by attacking Muslim holy sites like Mecca." (2006)

El-Amine states that it has not been difficult to further the racism against Muslims and Arabs because as noted by Noam Chomsky such racism has "long been extreme, the last 'legitimate' form of racism in that one doesn't even have to pretend to conceal it." (2006) El-Amine states that there is a sense of legitimacy and respectability in the anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism in that "racism cuts across the entire political spectrum, from right to left. It is accepted and even practiced by those who would not tolerate other forms of racism. While the anti-racist record of liberals and some on the left is not the best, it is particularly bad when it comes to Arabs and Muslims." (2006)

The work of Susan M. Akram (2002) entitled: "The Aftermath of September 11, 2001: The Targeting of Arabs and Muslims in America" begins by stating: "Words and images [run] together like watercolors on a child's easel - Arabs, mosque, terrorism, Muslims, extremists - making it hard to tell where one began and another left off." Akram states that the demonization of Arabs and Muslims in American "America began well before the terrible tragedy of September 11, 2001. It can be traced to deliberate mythmaking by film and media, stereotyping as part of conscious strategy of 'experts' and polemicists on the Middle East, the selling of a foreign policy agenda by U.S. government officials and groups seeking to affect that agenda, and a public susceptible to images identifying the unwelcome 'other' in its midst. Bearing the brunt of these factors are Arab and Muslim non-citizens in this country. A series of government laws and policies since the 1970's have steadily targeted Arab and Muslim non-citizens for selective interrogation, detention, harassment, presumption of terrorist involvement, and removal from this country. The Patriot Act, recent round-up and detention of over 1,000 and list of interrogation targets of 5,000 individuals, and the Presidential Order to establish quasi-military 'tribunals' exacerbate the selective targeting of Arab and Muslim non-citizens in a climate of fear that completely sanctions blatant racial profiling." (2002)

Anti-Arab and Anti-Muslim content have been formulated by commentators into "various 'racist' theories, from anti-immigrant sentiment that targets whichever group represents the most recent immigrant population to a more dynamic process of 'radicalization' that focuses on a social-political order that requires a marginalized 'other." (Akram, 2002) the first is stated by Akram to only partially provide an explanation for the demonization of Arabs and Muslims in America and that this is particularly as Arabs have specifically "been part of the fabric of United States society since the late 1800s." (2002) the second according to Akram, Omi and Winzant's characterization is more helpful but does not precisely delineate the very specific factors that have come together to 'racialize' Arabs and Muslims in the United States." (2002) Akram states however that "the reasons for defining race as a process are particularly valid as they indicate both the severe damage 'racialization' can do to the communities and individuals affected, and that the process can be reversed." (2002)

The racism toward the Arabs and Muslims is stated by Akram to not be emanated "from a single source, and certainly is not limited to passions stemming from the Arab-Israeli conflict. Several types of anti-Arab racism and violence can be discerned. The first, and most obvious, is the political violence of Jewish extremist groups, which is correctly viewed as emanating from the Arab-Israeli conflict.... The second is a more nativistic violence which is xenophobic and local in nature.... The third is a form of jingoist hostility and violence usually associated with international crises involving U.S. citizens...." (2002)

Consistent in the stereotyping of Muslims and Arabs as being 'terrorist' in the United States is the Arab-Israeli conflict since Jewish extremist groups "constitutes an undeniable source of anti-Arab hate violence not discussed in conventional accounts of racist violence in the United States." (Akram, 2002) One of the most active of all terrorist groups in the United States was the Jewish Defense League (JDL) in the 1980s. In fact, the FBI published a bulletin in 1987 reporting a study which "indicated that Jewish extremist organizations committed 'approximately 20 terrorist incidents and numerous other acts of violence, including extortion of threats...' representing about one quarter of the total terrorist acts in the United States in the 1980s. Yet well-regarded hate crime listing and studies do not separately identify Arab ethnic origin in their victim classifications and other completely omits Jewish extremist groups from the categories of perpetrators." (Akram, 2002) Akram relates that there is very little known concerning the "phenomenon of politically-motivated threats and intimidation against Arabs and Muslims in the U.S. By such mainstream Jewish organizations as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B'nai Birith." (2002) This organization was formed in the 1900s to fight anti-Semitism and "has gained a reputation as one of the foremost anti-racism groups" in the United States. However, the alternate mission of the ADL is "to discredit or silence critics of Israel of defenders of Palestinian human rights." (Akram, 2002) This group released a handbook "Pro-Arab Propaganda in America: Vehicles and Voices" in 1983 and individual and groups who voiced any criticism against Israel or Zionism were listed in this handbook. All of these individuals were stated to be extremists with intent on the eradication of Israel and as having incited prejudice against the Jews. Akram states that listed in this handbook were some of the brightest academic individuals and that this handbook was distributed nationwide in the United States. Two similar lists were issued by the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Both the ADL and AIPAC "harassed and intimidated academics and activists for years." (Akram, 2002)

Akram writes that the "popular caricature of the average Arab is as mythical as the old portrait of the Jew. He is robed and turbaned, sinister and dangerous, engaged mainly in hijacking airplanes and blowing up public buildings. It seems that the human race cannot discriminate between a tiny minority of persons who may be objectionable and the ethnic strain from which they spring. If the Italians have the Mafia, all Italians are suspect; if the Jews have financiers, all Jews are part of an international conspiracy; if the Arabs have fanatics, all Arabs are violent." (2002) Akram notes that "feeding already-existing stereotypes in American society about Arabs and Muslims, media and film have found a ready audience for dangerous and one-dimensional images." (2002)

Akram states: "One of the factors with the greatest impact on the targeting of Arabs and Muslims is what might best be termed 'institutionalized racism' in… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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