An intercultural interview

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In the United States, Islam is the third main faith after Christianity and Judaism. As a matter of fact, by 2016, there were some 3.3 million Muslims in the region, which is 1% of the total population. Whereas many Muslims are native Americans, three-quarters of the Muslim population are foreigners, most of whom come from Asia. Muslims of Asian descent have numerous barriers to life in a Christian-dominated culture (Rottier, 2016). For example, language activity is accused of becoming a jihadist, and women have the struggle to dress up according to their faith in culture and overcome many of the prejudices associated with Islam women. Background information on Islam.

The origin of the Muslim religion is generally associate with prophet Mohamed who started it in in the 7th century in Saudi Arabia. The word Islam means peace, hence Muslim the religion of peace. The supreme power of the Muslim religion is Allah who is the sovereign creator of the universe. Again, Muslims believe in the Quran as the Holy Scriptures inspired by Allah and written by Mohamed his prophet. Muslims neither believe in Jesus Christ as the son of god nor in his crucifixion and resurrection. In addition, Muslims believe that they are the chosen seed of Abraham which is in contradiction to Christianity. Christians believe that they are the chosen children of god through Abraham. Both Christians and Muslims believe in life after death.

Challenges Muslims of Asian Origin Face In US.

The biggest challenge that Asian immigrant Muslims face after settling in America is the dilemma on whether to continue practicing their religion as before or conform to the way of life of their new environment and become passive Muslims (Bilici, 2008). In comparison to Asia where the Islam religion is dominant and its culture is strictly adhered to, Islam not the dominant religion in the US and the systems in the country are not very conducive for individuals to strictly adhere to the Islam way of life.in addition, the US society is an integration of many cultures and religion, a situation that makes it difficult for Muslims to stand against the influence from Christianity and all other cultures whose beliefs are different from the Islam culture.

The Islam religion believes in Jihad or holy war. This part of their faith is commonly misunderstood and misused leading to the formation of many terrorists groups all over the world in the name of religion.as a matter of fact such groups are formed with sinister motives and only use the Islam religion for cover up. As a result, these groups have given a bad name to the whole Islam religion since it is now seen as a violent religion that does not promote peace.in this case, the Muslims of Asian origin in the US are treated with suspicion by Christians and the government since they are perceived as terrorists or supporters of terrorist groups. Subsequently, many Muslims are arrested or harassed by the police who accuse them of being spies for terrorist groups and hence a security risk to the US (John, 2010). Since many Muslims come to America as refugees fleeing from the oppressive rule of terrorist groups in their home countries, such harassment and suspicion only makes life more difficult for them adding to their desperation.

Since the Islam religion is considered as oppressive towards women, there are many stereotypes that Muslim women have to struggle with in America (Schonemann, 2013). Moreover, there are cultural misconceptions of the role of women in Islam among the Muslim community that makes life difficult for women. Culturally, slam women assumed passive roles such as taking care of their homes and husbands with little or no education given to them. Men were considered superior to women in most of the areas in life. However, women are struggling to overcome these oppressive beliefs and are advocating for educating the girl child and encouraging girls to take carriers in fields such as medicine, law and politics. Whereas most Islam women in the US only cover their heads during prayers, there is a group of women in America that insist on wearing the hijab everywhere they go. Given that some employers do not allow such a dress code in their premises, these women find it difficult to secure employment and fit in the society without standing out for the wrong reasons (Severson, 2011).

Similarly, immigrants from Asian countries normally have very little or no knowledge at all of the English language which is the medium of communication in the US. Consequentially it is very difficult for them to fit in the new society. It is a challenge for them to get employment due to this language barrier and hence find it difficult to get a decent life. Even more, their children take a long time to adjust and enroll in school because of their little knowledge of the English language (Elizabeth, 2013).

Conclusion

There are many challenges that Muslims of Asian culture in the US face for living in a society that has a majority of its people practicing Christianity and also for coming from a different ethnic community. Such problems include: language barrier, they are suspected to be terrorists and their women are discriminated against for wearing the Hijab. As a result, it is difficult for these Muslims to lead a good life in the US.

References

Bilici, M. (2008).Finding Mecca in America: American Muslims and Cultural Citizenship. University of Michigan.

Elizabeth, H.M. (2013). Experiences of Male Saudi Arabia International Students in the United States. Dissertation Paper 167.

John, C. R. M. (2010).American Muslims: A New Islamic Discourse on Religious Freedom.Georgetown University Washington DC.

Rottier, A. (2016).The Branding of Arab Muslims in the US After 9/11.Religion as a New Dimension of Differentiation.

Schonemann, J. (2013).The stereotyping of Muslims: An Analysis of The New York Times and The Washington Times Coverage and Veiling the Muhammad Cartoon Controversy. University of Oslo.

Severson, A.J. (2011). Social Identity Construction of Muslim Women: A Case Study. Graduate Thesis and Dissertations. Paper 10247.

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