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In Chapter 6, “Minority Group Responses,” Vincent N. Parillo discusses the ways in which non-mainstream population groups develop their own identity that is largely based on race or ethnic characteristics. Despite the fact that the attributes of one’s personality can be a crucial attribute in outlining how an individual may respond to discrimination, in general, minority groups usually exhibit five distinct patterns of behavior.
The first pattern is avoidance – a refusal or withdrawal from any interactions with other social groups. Deviance is a behavior usually exhibited by small portions of the population, although it may be an impulse to a negative stereotyping of the particular minority groups. The third pattern is defiance, which means either peaceful or violent protests against unequal treatment. Acceptance is linked to the assimilation and maintaining of a subordinate hierarchy. Lastly, the notion of negative self-image is linked to low expectations of a minority group and of lower confidence (Parillo, 2015).
A dominant group usually can reinforce physical, social, and political separation upon a minority group. Irrational fear of foreigners and individuals of different backgrounds can often cause serious measures of a certain group expulsion. Expulsion results in the appearance of hate groups, the quantity of which has significantly risen in the recent decade. By the year 2014, there have been 939 active hate groups, with the dominant ones being neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, and White nationalists.
According to the hate map of the United States from the Southern Poverty Law Center, the largest amount of hate groups is spread over the states of California, Florida, Texas, and Georgia. Furthermore, the rate of hate crimes has significantly risen over the recent decade, numbering under 7,000 offenses a year.
Anti-Muslim Hate Groups
It is important to point out that the hate groups with an anti-Mulsim ideology have appeared fairly recently. The majority of them appeared after the World Trade Center tragedy on September 11th, 2001. The earlier anti-Mulsim groups were of religious background and opposed the position Islam’s on the global religious scale. An anti-Muslim hate group attributes negative traits to the followers of Islam, putting forward alleged accusations that the Muslim population of the United States is planning to overturn the stability in the country by means of imposing the Shariah law, an Islamic system of laws (Southern Poverty Law Center, n.d., para. 3).
Furthermore, the religion of Islam is frequently attacked by anti-Mulsim hate groups, which state that this religion is evil and monolithic. This hate has emerged from the fact that the Islamic religion has very little in common with other dominant religions; thus, anti-Muslim hate groups consider it not a religion but a political ideology. There are twenty-five anti-Muslim groups listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website, with the majority of hate groups concentrating in New York, Tennessee, and California.
Stop the Islamization of America
Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA) is an anti-Muslim organization established in 2009 in New York and headed by Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller. The organization has been created on the basis of a model European anti-Muslim organization with a similar name of Stop Islamization of Europe. The organization targets its efforts at opposing the Shariah law and encouraging the Islamic population to stay away from the “falsity” of their religion (Anti-Defamation League, 2013, p. 1).
SIOA operates through blogs, public speeches and events, books, and other campaigns that aim at promoting the goal of an organization of “Challenging a powerful and dangerous “Islamic machine” that threatens the security and cultural fabric of the United States” (Anti-Defamation League, 2013, p. 1).
The organization’s ability to establish connections with other anti-Mulsim groups both in the US and worldwide with similar bigoted ideology has made it possible to reach new audiences and promote SIOA’s activity. In addition to loud claims about the negative characteristics of Islam and its followers, the organization deems any opponent of their efforts as a participator of a pro-Muslim conspiracy and is called a Nazi collaborator without any reasonable explanations.
Apart from speeches and books, the leaders of the SIOA organization are known for their controversial advertisements that have an anti-Muslim connotation. One such ads was submitted to the New York MTS as a response to the allegedly “anti-Israel” ad. The advertisement submitted by SIOA stated: “In any war between the civilized man and a savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad” (Anti-Defamation League, 2013, p. 3).
A comparison of the Muslim population with savages is a strong allegation that has no ground in life. Every religion and every population deserves to be treated equally as there are extremist movements in any ideology. While the crimes committed on the basis of Islam should be strictly punished by the American law as any other crime, making accusations that all Muslims are “savages” and should be excluded from the society simply encourages the extremists to act. Thus, despite the success of organizations like SIOA, society should encourage equality and inclusion of all races, religions, and cultures, with ideology-driven crimes being punished in accordance with the law.
Anti-Defamation League. (2013). Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA). Web.
Parillo, V. (2015). Understanding Race and Ethnic Relations (5th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Education.
Southern Poverty Law Center. (n.d.). Anti-Muslim. Web.