The United States is one of the nations that is be riddled with hate crimes. The US has been always in the limelight for social divisions that have eaten up the fabric of its society. The US is one of the most divisive countries in the world. The US has attracted people from different cultures around the world since it managed to put the structures relevant for a successful society. America is home to some of the biggest industrial corporations in the world. To run these corporations they require skilled personnel from various subject areas and disciplines. As a result, attract workforces from around the world who land in America searching for greener pastures.
Moreover, America has built some of the best infrastructures in the world from roads, railways, housing and hospitals just to mention a few. America has the most culturally diverse population in the world which has made it one of the most successful countries since the people are able to exchange their knowledge and ideas. Arabs have lived in the US and invested quite a lot of capital. However, the tide changed after the September 11th attacks normally referred to as 9/11 on the American soil, the World Trade Centre that was perpetrated by the extremist Al-Qaeda group led by one of the most wanted international terrorists in world, Osama Bin Laden. This has led to the victimization of the Muslim groups particularly those from the Arab World.
This has led to hostile relationship between the Arab Muslims and particularly the American White population that has been a breeding ground for hate crimes and other instigated violent attacks. The primary cause of hate crimes has been established to be carried out along racial, religious and ethnic lines. Other causes of primary instigators of hate crimes include disability, gender, sexual orientation such as same sex marriages and political affiliation just to mention a few. There are various types of hate crimes namely homicide, child victimization, elder victimization, internet victimization, violence at the workplace, bias towards a certain group, terrorism and profiling of race and religion. This paper will discuss the thoughts of the Arab community against the Western world and vice versa, that is, what are the thoughts of the Western world against the Arab Nations and its people. To achieve this, the paper will review and analyse two sources of the existing literature that has been published on the hostility between the Western World and the Arab community.
The thoughts of the Arabs about the Western World and Countries
The Arab world has always viewed the Western world and countries particularly the United States of America negatively. The US has normally enjoyed enormous economic and political influence on the global arena. It has exerted its influence in all corners of the globe. The US has managed to shape the minds of its citizens with liberal views and ideas. The US advocates for the rights of predominantly all the individuals within the society. The US has managed to export its political ideology particular on democratic institutions and governments that support justice and equality for all citizens.
The United States has liberal views on same sex marriages, women rights and children’s rights just to mention a few and has gone a notch higher to enact favourable legislation for their policies. The Arab world and countries don’t have liberal views on various spheres of our daily lives such as women rights and same sex marriages. The Arab countries use Sharia Laws to govern their countries and any crime committed or law broken is punishable under the governing Islam laws known as the Sharia laws.
The Arab world does not consider democracy that is sold by the US as favourable. The Arab world does not hold the entrenchment of new modern constitution such as the one in the US and recently promulgated one in Kenya as essential in leap frogging their countries forward. They consider upholding their Islam values by using their own Sharia laws. The Arabs do not uphold the western cultures in their country whether in their dressing, entertainment, food and so on. The Arab view the Western world as dominant in the global economy that is managed by the Bretton Woods institutions namely the World Bank and the IMF.
The Arab countries have no say in these institutions and hence have moved forward to establish their own regional blocks to try and harmonise their trade and economic policies for the economic development of the Arab countries. The body under which the Gulf States operate is the influential Gulf Countries Council. The Arab world views the US as an exploitative country particular on the natural resources which is the oil and gas. The US and other countries has been exploiting the oil resources of the Arab countries through its multinational oil giants such as Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP Shell and Conoco Philips just to mention a few. The companies had been at one time accused of not paying their fair share of royalties to the Royal kingdom of the Gulf States.
Due to enormous economic and political influence of the US on the Arab countries, some of the people have felt too much pressure. They have organized and grouped their activities into radical Islam commonly referred to as jihad and has been a political force and ideology. There are various jihad groups which are extremely dangerous terrorists. The most commonly known groups are known as the Al-Qaeda and Al-Shabaab. They use extreme violence on their targets which includes bombings and ambushes. The Arabs have been angered by the policies that the Western countries seen to impose on them and force some of them down their throats.
There have been several attacks directed to the American community and even beyond their borders. The Al-Qaeda bombed the embassy of the United States both in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in the year 1997. In recent years, the extremist terrorist group Al-Shabbab, with its roots in the Al-Qaeda have carried several attacks in the East African country of Kenya targeting the American nationals in their killings. Both the Al-Qaeda and the Al-Shabaab have considerable influence on the society and thus have attracted and recruited many youths whom either professes Islam or not. These are the sympathizers who have already bought the political ideology of using jihad to advocate for their rights. These special interests groups of Muslims feel as they have been marginalized from the government. Jihads has quickly developed into a powerful political force with many governments around the world taking note and have moved in with lethal force in order to neutralize the movement that may degenerate into unmitigated chaos.
Western Thoughts about the Arabs
The Western countries have developed negative attitudes and stereotypes towards the Arab population. American citizens particularly view people from Arab countries as extreme terrorists. This is primary stereotype that comes up when the Arabs are interacting with the American citizens is that of Arabs being seen as potential terrorists. Citizens from Arab countries have been discriminated from boarding the same transport facilities such as trains and buses with American citizens. There are unequal employment opportunities in the US for citizens of Muslim Arab descent. Majority of them are denied job opportunities no matter how educated and skilled they are. Arabs are hurled insults at various social places such as education institutions and other social gatherings.
The Arabs are discouraged from practising their cultures freely in the Western world. Moreover, laws have been enacted in countries such as France that bar Muslim women from putting their traditional dressing which covers their whole body. Arabs have been subjects of internet victimization. Due to the advent of social networks which offer people a platform to communicate and interact, there have been hurling of insults and hate speech of Muslim Arabs on the internet. Facebook and Twitter are the common social networking platforms used. The media fraternity has gone further ahead to demonize the Islamic culture. The media is key influence in the society and plays a key role in setting the trends and precedence of news all around the world.
The media has particularly played a crucial role in supplanting the Muslim culture and religion not only nationally but also globally through various international media channels such as CNN and BBC. This has made the American nationals to develop fear towards Muslim Arab ethnic groups. As a result, there have been knee-jerk reactions which are primarily targeted violence towards the Muslim Arab minority group. There have been very many cases reported to the police and they seem to be on an upward trend. Nevertheless, on an annual basis many cases approximately 70% go unreported. The criminal justice system in the US is full of flaws that tend to block full momentum for the prosecution of the instigators.
The judicial panels are also riddled with racism and at times an individual may not be able to get the correct verdict. This leads to hard feelings of Arabs towards the Americans which adds salt to the injury of their relations. The Arab Muslims may be to respond with violence which takes time to calm their relations and peaceful negotiations. In fighting terrorism, the US through its various security agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have used various methods such as racial profiling of Arab Muslims which has led to discrimination in the fight against terror. The US has used this reason to deny immigrants of Arab descent from getting passports, visas, work permits and green cards to go into the US to study and work.
From this course, I learnt the importance of peaceful negotiations that may help avert a dire situation from escalating into a nightmare. The hostile relations have practically led to a war between the US and the Islam extreme terrorist groups such as the Al-Qaeda and Al-Shabaab. The US has been forced to spent enormous amounts of money on its defence budget. This money is used to train and deploy soldiers to work in Middle East battlefields and neutralise the camps and leaders of these terrorist groups. The war is still ravaging the Middle Eastern countries as well as the US economy. The US is pumping billions of dollars into the war to ensure there is regional peace and stability as well as in the global arena.
The US has also been in competition with the Gulf States particularly in the black gold rush. Oil and natural are the primary minerals and sources of foreign exchange for the Gulf States. The US is the largest consumer of oil in the world since it requires enormous amounts of energy to drive its industrial base as well as its vast economy. Majority of this oil is consumed in the transport industry to ensure that the goods and services reach the consumer on time. Due to these competing interests for oil, it has bred hostile relations between them as no one is willing to put their foot down for the other. On the American soil, due to discriminatory laws and poor enforcement of laws, there has been no faith in the government to take the perpetrators of these crimes into account. This has led to violence which is viewed as a means of settling scores particularly among the youth which increases the incidents and cases of violence. The victims of the violent incidents have been extremely depressed and experienced deeper levels of stress and anxiety such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The western governments need to put in place structures to ensure that there is adequate administration of law and justice for the victims of the violent attacks. This will put more faith in the government to ensure that more incidences of these racial crimes are taken into account and the perpetrators are brought to book. There is still room for further into how such problems can be solved to bring peace and ensure there is peace and stability in the national and global economy.
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Hanes, E., & Machin, S. (2014). Hate crime in the wake of terror attacks: Evidence from 7/7
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