Emotional Experiences of Muslim Americans Regarding the Intolerance Displayed by Non-Muslims
Muslims in the United States report experiencing unequal treatment and racial profiling from non-Muslims. Recent literature (Simon et al., 2018) suggests the need for further research on the intolerance displayed by majority members from the point of view of minority members in the United States. The unwillingness or refusal to respect or tolerate individuals from a different social group or minority groups, who hold beliefs that are contrary to one’s own, is referred to as intolerance. The display of intolerance among members of different cultural and religious backgrounds can hinder the discovery of new information needed to promote positive social change among non-Muslims and Muslims in the United States. To explore the emotional experiences of Palestinian Muslim Americans in Cleveland, Ohio, I conducted semistructured interviews regarding the display of prejudice and discrimination by non-Muslims. The theoretical framework used for this study is the theory of planned behavior. To recruit the 10 participants in the study, purposeful and convenience sampling were used. Data analysis was performed using Giorgi’s psychological phenomenological method, template analysis, and coding. Findings of the study revealed that participants experienced emotional distress from the intolerance displayed by non-Muslims, which involved experiences such as verbal attacks “anywhere” and “everywhere.” The study also found the participants describing the intolerance among Muslims and non-Muslims using terms such as “we vs. they” or “us vs. them.” The discovered information from this study can be used to develop social strategies that promote and improve interactions among non-Muslims and Muslims in the United States.
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