Muslims under the Looking Glass

By McCloud, Aminah B. | Islamic Horizons, November/December 2007 | Go to article overview

Muslims under the Looking Glass


McCloud, Aminah B., Islamic Horizons


The Pew report strongly focuses on stereotypical issues concerning Muslims in the United States. BY AMINAH B. MCCLOUD

The Pew study of "Muslims in America," or should I say the results of this study, caught me off guard. I expected it to reveal that Muslim Americans have the same concerns over the current state of political affairs that other Americans do. I thought it would be a testament to an undeservedly growing Islamophobia despite societal claims to encouraging diversity. Instead, it focuses on stereotypical issues concerning Muslims in America.

While I did not expect Pew to advocate any particular view of America's Muslim population, I did expect that the right questions would yield more informative answers, rather than simply the only answers that a suspect population could give under duress. In the current climate, Muslims certainly cannot risk answering many of this survey's questions with candor, although they did an excellent job. Many questions have been asked of the Muslim community, and when Muslims have tried to share their knowledge and concerns about their environment they have often found themselves misunderstood and then surveilled.

My responses began on the first page with how the report was done-how the data was gathered and the subsequent statistics. I noticed that the survey's method was problematic. People were asked to identify themselves as Muslim and then speak with candor on sensitive issues. Also, on the first page the nature of the questioning sets up what the responses are going to be. There is a perception that most of America's Muslims are not Americans, as well as a presumption that they are supposed to reject something called "Islamic extremism" or anything else that has been designated as unacceptable.

Through its choice of issues, this report perpetuates the stereotypes and distortions of Islam. There were no questions permitting the rejection of the vocabulary used or of the underlying premises. The beginning of the report presents a comparison to Muslims living in western Europe, even though the report is supposed to focus on Muslims in America. This sets up a false binary.

The Muslims' concerns about the "war on terror" actually begins with a clarification of the word terror. Just because many Americans have accepted that one can have a "war on terror" does not change the fact that terror is a tool and not an object. The report also presumes that the "war on terror" is only a war against Islam and Muslims. Given the starting point, what can a Muslim say in response to the question? Muslim identity is immediately made problematic if you state that you are Muslim and then are put into a category automatically. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Muslims under the Looking Glass
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.