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Public Policy and Administration


Bill Benet


Several researchers have identified discrimination and profiling as examples of oppression and threats to the democratic process. Scholarly literature provides little evidence on the experiences, beliefs, and attitudes of young adult Arab American Muslims post-9/11. This study addressed the attitudes and lived experiences of young adult Arab American Muslims between the ages of 18 and 25 regarding discrimination and profiling experienced in the District of Columbia Metropolitan area since the passage of the American Patriot Act. A phenomenological research study was conducted using Benet's polarities of democracy as the theoretical framework with a focus on diversity and equality. Data were collected from young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 living in a large east coast metropolitan area using participant interview and then coded to identify themes. Participants mainly agreed on noticeable differences in their treatment related to diversity and equality on campus, in the workplace, and in social public settings. Often, participants agreed that they have been targeted through additional measures such as political and media rhetoric which also negatively impacts their seeking of diversity and equality. Overall, the results of this study not only highlight the challenges this group faces but also indicates that the polarity pair of diversity and equality has not been leveraged well, thereby creating a mental concentration camp for participants. Lastly, this study may provide positive social change by allowing US Congress to better understand the negative consequences of the US Patriot Act.

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