At times, being Muslim will mean to have to explain certain things about your religious believes to the rest of the world. This is a way of fighting misconceptions about this religion, those general wide‑spread, but terribly mistaken, assumptions people have about Islam. In this article, Essra Nawar develops some of the main aspects of Islam she feels that need the most explaining, including the relation between Muslims and/or Arabs and Americans, the stance of Islam towards Muslim or the Muslims’ rejection of terrorism:
For a long time, media scholars and researchers across the world have been talking about “The three B syndrome” in which Muslims and/or Arabs are always being portrayed as one of the three B’s: billionaire, bomber, and belly dancer. I can also add “terrorists, bedouins and uneducated.” It frustrates me as an Arab American to see that we are portrayed in a way that is far away from reality, and no matter how hard Arabs and/or Muslims are trying to fight these misconceptions, it is still really a challenge to erase them knowing how effective the media is on every household whether we like it or not. According to Dr. Sahar Khamis, Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Maryland, “This is a common way of looking at Arabs in the media, and describing their flawed media portrayal.”
Thus, I decided to put together a list of things that most mainstream Americans do not know about Arabs and/or Muslims. I know that it is neither fair nor reasonable to keep explaining to people why or why not you do certain things or whether what they see in the media is true or not, but I guess building bridges and having the opportunity to dialogue is what matters the most. The fact that we as Arabs and/or Muslims know that these portrayals are false is not enough. Arab and/or Muslim Americans need to get out of their way to know the people who they live with. As a Muslim/Arab community, I think we even have to put ourselves in everyone else’s shoes and give them the benefit of the doubt. I also ask every American (of non-Arab/non-Muslim origin) to give himself/herself a chance to know their fellow Americans of an Arab and/or Islamic background; I assure you that your idea will be totally changed the same way mine did when I moved to America, but you have to give yourself the chance and be willing to truly educate yourself and accept others the way they are. I personally found it to be an excellent way to erase misconceptions and to feel welcomed and empowered.
Click here to see the list of statements exposed.