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Prince Amir Al Saud

Western World Perspective of the Arab World

Western World Perspective of the Arab World

 

The West, by and large, has acquired apathy which even translates to hatred against the Islam world and Muslims. This dislike is firmly entrenched in the consciousness of many Westerners. This mindset has become evident for the past centuries by way of religion myths, education, internal politics, and foreign policies.

 

Western Media

Media in most western countries describe Arabs in many ways.

Arabs are described as fundamentalists, fanatics, terrorists, or freedom fighters.

Even governments and political strategists are generally guarded when it comes to Islam culture. Meanwhile, many academic thinkers describe Islam as a thorn to the West. Negative impressions of Arabs and Muslims have become more widespread compared to positive images and notions. The idea that the Islamic state has become a real threat to the West surfaced during the nineties.

 

The media has been prejudiced against the Middle East and Islam which affected the mindset of Western people.

People became more narrow-minded instead of broadening their understanding about Arabs. In many instances, politicians and lawmakers especially in the United States manipulate this frame of mind to build up egocentric foreign policies. You all have heard  foreign policies of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.  

Ted Cruz foreign policy  " includes people who have called for all mosques to be shut down across America, claimed the country is being subverted by the Muslim Brotherhood and decried all followers of the Islamic faith as jihadists.?" Not sure how we can respond to such policies.

 

Ted Cruz campaign's anti-Muslim propagandists called 'terrifying'

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His opponent, Donald Trump,  has gone even several steps further " banning muslims to enter United States." 

 

Donald Trump: Ban all Muslim travel to U.S.

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Trumps comments on Islam has stirred global instability instability and racial tension not only among American people but Arabs and Mexico too? 

When so called Leaders above make anti-muslim statements what will normal public think? 

Trump won caucuses in North east on Fat Tuesday. He has the support? 

Media institutions are being utilized to drum up massive frenzy against the so-called militant Muslims.  There is always a scream about terrorism and fanaticism. 

 

Media campaigns are being waged against Islam and the Muslim populace. Many media institutions possessing vast resources portray Muslims (not only Arabs) as murderers and radicals.

Muslim groups also use media channels to put their message across but Western control of mass media has turned the tables on them.

 

Religious Factor

The problem of Islam, Muslims and Arabs being misconstrued has profound roots in the anti-Islamic stance adopted by the clergy. One Arabic researcher and scholar who works for a prominent American University wrote in a book that Muslim Arab prophets are generally shown as impostors. This is one of the reasons why repugnance against Arabs escalated until the present day.

Islam has always been the subject of tirades from Christians. Ted Cruz submitted recently "Islam is in war against Christians?." If Terrorist groups like Boku Haram go and abduct kids, it has nothing to do with Arab world or other muslims. Boku Haram, operating in East Nigeria is a dangerous terrorists group. 

Further, Isolated Incidents in Pakistan, not even as Arab state, on easter bombing a church is not connected to Arab nation.

Pakistan is already declared a terrorist country. They have been harboring famous terrorist like Osama Bin Ladin, who was killed by current US administration.  Pakistan as known to all, is safe haven to many international terrorist groups, one being Taliban, their immediate neighbor.

White House even till today is aware of disputed territory of Kashmir belonging to India, but never took any positive steps to resolve. It is agreed US is not international court of law but US has been funding and favoring Pakistan for many decades till lately they have realized Pakistan involvement of terrorists activities. 

Other religions have not been exposed to such a salvo of censure. 

 

It is a combination of apprehension, bias and antagonism that shaped the Western World’s perception of Islam and Arab Muslims. For some time (up to the middle part of the 20th century), the Roman Catholic Church simply treated Islam as another faith. The attitude of Catholics took a turn during the Second Vatican Council adopted another stand against the Muslim Creed. 

 

Varying Opinions

The universal view is suspicion of Muslims and Arabs heightened after 9/11. Americans, Europeans, Canadians, and Australians have become more anxious of Islam.

Recent discussions in US congress to veto the bill to prosecute Saudi Arabia of 911 incident tends to declare entire Saudi nation as terrorist. This issue will highten tensions and confirm views of westerner about Arab World being terrorist or all "Muslim's being terrorist." This will also lead to economic crime as nations may retaliate. The precedence if set, will allow nations around the world to start prosecuting nations? 

Nevertheless, some scholars say this viewpoint of anger is not shared by many UK nationals. Not all people are angry with Arab communities. It is all a matter of proper integration with Western society. Only when communities isolate themselves will disagreement and other issues begin.

 

It remains highly debatable if the actions of migrants in Western nations help shape public perception of Arabs. Some Muslim scholars assert that among the erroneous beliefs is the conjecture that Arab Muslims migrate to the West to force their own lifestyles and customs on the host population. This leads to the nonstop dispute regarding uniqueness and assimilation. The fact that has been largely ignored is that “Arab terrorism” happens not because of Arab actions but due to dissatisfaction and antagonism in response to Western policies primarily in the Middle East from occupation to totalitarianism.

 

Another judicious view on said issue is that hard-liners (anti-Muslims) do not believe that Arabs want to change their lives.

Even this notion is incorrect. The change in most GCC countries is amazing. We need to remember we cannot change the world unless we are willing to see the change within ourselves? 

Kindly see the economic and social growth in Dubai. Dubai is the top 7 tourist destination and per census in bucket list of most westerners to travel. In fact, Dubai is the safest place for women to travel with zero crime. You will never hear any acts of violence in that nation. 

Most people still harbor the common feeling though against Arabs.

They are extremely uncomfortable with people from Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Jordan and other Muslim nations. Iran is not an Arab nation. The rest are arabic speaking but not a part of GCC nations. 

There are certain Muslims or Arabs who contribute on purpose or without knowing to the crisis of negative points of view. They say of even commit acts that will give good reason for the panic and measures adopted to impede freedoms and go against basic human rights.

 

Final Assessment

As a matter of fact, certain factions belonging to Arab communities only help the typecast by isolating themselves and saying no to integration. This may not be appropriate for the US but many societies in Europe have become multicultural nowadays.

Said social orders are more receptive to different novel ideas. Henceforth, integration does not totally imply that peoples will lose their values and cultures. The key is to discover common ground. Perhaps, education and exchange of ideas can help correct the negative representation of Arabs and all Muslims for that matter in the West.

 

This seems to be a difficult target in the light of the current armed aggression in many countries in the Middle East. Moreover, the ISIS issue has led to the aggravation of the whole problem. Westerners need to educate themselves that ISIS is not Arab world or a part of GCC countries.

ISIS are Islamic fundamentalist, who believe in Wahhabism and they have twisted the belief system and have killed and bombed Muslim nations.

In Mosul, Iraq , 250 young girls were forced to marry ISIS Jihadist. The girls refused and were butchered including some members of their family. Mosul is in control of ISIS since 2014. 

Yet, there can be a consensus only of Westerners and Muslims work closely towards this end.

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