Attitudes of Muslim Americans Regarding Prejudice and Discrimination Displayed by Non-Muslims
Muslim Americans have reported experiencing racial profiling, physical threats, and verbal abuse based on their religion, ethnicity, and color (Samari, 2016). These types of lived experiences can have negative personal consequences for Muslim Americans and influence their attitudes and behavior toward non-Muslims. A literature review conducted by Simon et al. (2018) suggests the need for research that explores the point of view of minorities regarding intolerance displayed by majority members. Intolerance is defined as the refusal and unwillingness to tolerate or respect individuals from different social or minority groups who hold different beliefs. Prejudice and discrimination can hinder the discovery of new information needed to promote positive social change by influencing social boundaries among groups based on their negative lived experiences (Ellis & Abdi, 2017). Semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore the attitudes of Palestinian Muslim Americans in Cleveland, Ohio, regarding prejudice and discrimination displayed by non-Muslims. The theory of planned behavior was used as the theoretical framework for this study. Purposeful and convenience sampling were used to recruit the 10 participants in this study. Giorgi’s (2012) psychological method, coding, and template analysis were used to perform data analysis. The study revealed the participants described prejudice and discrimination among Muslims and non-Muslims as “good and bad” or “it depends.” The study also found participants used the terms “we versus they” or “us versus them” when describing the behavior displayed by non-Muslims. Information discovered from this study can be used to develop new social strategies that can help improve the social interactions among Muslims and non-Muslims in the United States.
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