Though multiculturalism has been claimed to eliminate prejudice in US and other parts of the world, numerous cases of discrimination on prejudice basis have been experienced. According to Myres (2009), the root causes of prejudice are stereotype where people tend to concentrate on their differences with less regard on their similarities. Stereotype is the generalization of an individual or group of people, even if the sample stereotyped does not actually represent the entire group or population.
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It is important to note that, stereotyping develops in cases when we ignore to obtain enough information so as to be able to make fair judgments (Myres, 2009). Prolonged stereotype usually results into prejudice, where prejudged assumptions are made about an individual before having accurate knowledge about him/her.
Generally prejudice evolves when one group considers itself superior to another, which subsequently results into some discrimination of the presumably inferior group. This paper analyses a case where Muslim travelers were exposed to prejudice and subsequently discrimination.
“On November 20, 2006, Minneapolis Airport Police captured 6 leaders, all Muslims, for the airways flight because they were suspected of suspicious behavior. They were accused of causing unnecessary disturbance that included shouting ‘Allah’ in pray, switching of seats, and requesting of belt extension. Their suspicious behavior was, however, embedded in their appearance” (Gaines & Miller, 2010, p 187).
As this case reveals, the Muslim travelers were prejudged as being terrorists on the basis of being alleged for terrorism, which was mainly based on their physical appearance. Considering the previous cases of Muslim terrorists attacking US airplanes, generalization on how all Muslims are perceived as terrorists is brought out in this case. Precisely, the Metropolitan police seem prejudiced on their action of convicting the Muslim travelers with terrorism without proofing the allegation.
In the above case, stereotype seems to dominate the entire proceedings since the Muslim leaders are generally annexed on the basis of their race (Gaines & Miller, 2010). Considering the general perception of Muslims being associated with terrorism attacks, prejudged assumptions by the Metropolitan police as such Muslims being threat for peaceful journey portrays how stereotyping results into prejudice, which in turn causes discrimination.
The manhandling of the Muslim leaders by the police shows how the there exist pre-judged assumptions that all Muslims are terrorists. Being considered as a minority in US, the Muslims are brought out as being exposed to racial profiling on the basis of the previous terrorist acts by various Muslim groups. As noted by Myres (2009), this act of prejudice is very dangerous in the society since it leads to suffering of innocent persons, since a behavior of a small group is generalized for the entire social entity.
As a result of prejudice, discrimination usually arises since the generalized group behavior results into denial of social rights to the particular group (Myres, 2009). In the above case, the six Muslim leaders are discriminated by being denied of their freedom of religion, since they are prejudiced for terrorism. More so, the act of annexing an annexing an individual on the basis of his/her physical appearance seems highly discriminative.
In the above case, the six Muslims are reported to have been arrested on the basis of their physical appearance, rather than their behavior, which can be considered as having its root from the previous terrorist attacks by Muslims in Muslim planes. Generally, stereotype alleged to the overall Muslims can be considered as having led to prejudice being placed on them resulting into their being discriminated in US airports.
Gaines, L. & Miller, R. (2010). Criminal Justice in Action, 6th Edition. New York: Thomson Publishing.
Myres, D. (2009). Psychology, 9th Edition. New York: Worth Publishers.