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Muslim Cultural Group: Immersion in the USA Research Paper

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Updated: May 27th, 2020

Today our society develops according to the principles of global integration with paying much attention to the cultural and ethnic peculiarities of definite national groups. However, this process is complicated by the progress of definite prejudices and misunderstandings connected with such national groups as the Muslim cultural group. It is possible to speak about the issues of discrimination that are directed toward Muslims in American society. These issues are closely connected with the problem of terrorism and 9/11.

Now many Americans are inclined to consider Muslims as violent radicals whose violence is based on the religious aspects and express the open antipathy toward Muslims in everyday life. That is why the reason for immersion to the Muslim cultural group is to examine the peculiarities of their outlook with references to their culture and religion and to reduce prejudices with the help of their understanding. Basing on the norms of Islam, Muslims are strict in finding the balance between mind and emotion, worshiping Allah, and valuing family. Thus, conscience, worship, and family become the most important concepts of Muslims’ culture, which influence their behavior (Nelson, 2009).

Nevertheless, misperceptions and biases develop in society. For instance, Jihad is considered as the complex of violent actions directed against all non-Muslims and associated with terrorism (Rehfuss, Parks-Savage, & Malone, 2011). According to the field of mental health, many Muslims connect mental illnesses with their spiritual life. Thus, bad jinni can cause mental diseases. In spite of the fact, such considerations are rare today; there is the tradition to focus on spiritual and mental health and use predominantly natural remedies for treatment (Dwairy, 2006).

To be immersed in the Muslim cultural group, it was necessary to attend the Masjid. It was a surprising experience because I had the opportunity to observe a lot of details of Muslims’ behavior when they are involved in their natural circumstances and not oppressed by American society’s demands. It is another culture with its peculiarities, and which requires special respect as any other culture (Arthur & Achenbach, 2002).

The Muslim culture is based on the principles of Islam, and Muslims should pray five times a day, facing in the direction of Mecca, the holiest place for them. The Masjid is a place where Muslims can worship, and they are all equal in status there. There are no images of Allah in the Masjid because it is impossible to see the Holy Spirit (Collins & Pieterse, 2007). Therefore, the Masjid is of great importance for Muslims. It is also significant that women attend the Masjid rarely, and in these cases, they pray separately from men. It is more typical for them to pray at home.

However, in spite of the developed stereotypes, women in Islam are equal to men in Allah’s eyes, but their role is mostly connected with their families. Women in Islam are valued as daughters and wives. They should provide a comfort and loving atmosphere at home. Marriage is the most important event in women’s life. That is why their life after marriage is based on strict social and religious principles. It is impossible to speak about the women’s lack of rights in Islam; it is just not typical for Muslim women to play important roles in political and other spheres, which are traditionally considered as male ones (James, 2009).

The challenges of the experience were connected with the following unknown rules while attending the Masjid. It caused a feeling of confusion. Thus, cultural immersions are necessary for overcoming definite biases and stereotypes, which are the results of the lack of knowledge. The immersion experience is the first step to developing a multicultural approach to the issues of the counselor’s practice. It is necessary to be free of all possible stereotypes in order to provide the professional help, but it is significant to pay attention to the cultural and religious peculiarities of the patients in order to provide the effective individual approach because they can influence the development and effectiveness of the treatment.


Arthur, N., & Achenbach, K. (2002). Developing multicultural counseling competencies through experiential learning. Counselor Education & Supervision, 42(1), 2-14.

Collins, N. M., & Pieterse, A. L. (2007). Critical incident analysis based training: An approach for developing active racial/cultural awareness. Journal of Counseling & Development, 85, 14-23.

Dwairy, M. (2006). Counseling and psychotherapy with Arabs and Muslims: A culturally sensitive approach. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

James, C. C. (2009). Impact of cultural immersion experience on school psychologists’ cultural competency. USA: Loyola University of Chicago.

Nelson, T. D. (Ed.). (2009). Handbook of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination. Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press.

Rehfuss, M. C., Parks-Savage, A., & Malone, A. (2011). . Web.

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