Monday, September 1, 2008

Stereotypes

So one of the classes I am taking this fall is on the Islamic faith. I know very little about Muslims, and am looking forward to decreasing my ignorance. One of the first things we did in the class was read an article by Mona Eltahawy discussing "what does a Muslim look like." The saddest part of the article is the idea that people are genuinely shocked to see diversity amongst Muslim people. Because of the media and the ignorance of so many, it seems as if Americans have a perceived image in our heads of what a Muslim "must be" versus what they might actually be. This isn't to say that some people within the Muslim faith have not done wrong and projected the image we as Americans have...its just that it is unfair to stereotype all people because of the actions of some. I think about my own Christian faith and see all of the examples that I do not want to be lumped in with. Do I really want to be represented by Pat Robertson? By James Dobson? By Joel Osteen? By the abuse issues in the Catholic church? By anti-homosexual tirades? By the Republican party? The media only seems to latch onto the sensational news stories and then projects those as status-quo for a whole group. It is frustrating when trying to share Christ with someone because they already have some misconceptions based upon what they have seen/heard on television. The article and subsequent class discussion that went along with it really reminded me of how often I listen to stereotypes and get duped by the media. Not every Muslim wants to burn an American flag...just like not every Christian wants to bomb an abortion clinic. Unfortunately the only way to move beyond these simplistic and foolish generalizations is to cut down on our ignorance. That is my hope with this class.

2 comments:

Rev. Don Spitz said...

You seem to imply there is something wrong if a babykilling abortion mill is burned or bomb. Which do you prefer, a pile of bricks or a pile of dead babies? Innocent unborn babies deserve to be protected just as born children deserve to be protected. You would have no problem protecting born children if they were about to be murdered.
SAY THIS PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I am a sinner and am headed to eternal hell because of my sins. I believe you died on the cross to take away my sins and to take me to heaven. Jesus, I ask you now to come into my heart and take away my sins and give me eternal life.

bigdave said...

Landon,
Pray for the hearts of those whose self-righteousness stands in the way of souls finding the Christ of the New Testament. (Who by the way is the Christ of today and of all tomorrows.) The commandment, Thou shall not kill (not, as so often quoted murder) was not just written to convict abortion doctors, but, infantry soldiers, bombers (both USAF and terroist,) court appointed executioners, and those of us who live in plenty, while many lie starving in the streets. I am incapable of telling you or any other person how or what to pray. Thank God Almighty that the Spirit moans in words too deep for some "holy men" to hear, and that God Himself hears those moanings always!
YOUR DAD