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|Topic: Anti-Muslim bias alive and well|
Joined: 29 March 2008
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| Topic: Anti-Muslim bias alive and well
Posted: 17 November 2008 at 8:44pm
The election of the United States' first African American president has been welcomed as evidence the nation is belatedly moving beyond bigotry. But two new studies suggest that at least one unconscious prejudice -- a fear or dislike of Muslims -- remains very much alive.
"Islamophobia," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said Wednesday at a two-day United Nations interfaith dialogue, "has emerged as a new term for an old and terrible form of prejudice."
When rumors began circulating during the recent presidential election that Barack Obama was a Muslim, observers from former Secretary of State Colin Powell to comedian Jon Stewart responded by asking, "Why would it matter if he was?" But whoever was circulating that misinformation was playing into a widely held prejudice -- one that has infected even the minds of sophisticated, educated Westerners. At least, that's the conclusion of two recently published studies, which detected anti-Muslim bias in two very different settings.
The first is "The Turban Effect," published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology by a team from the University of New South Wales in Sydney. It suggests that simply noticing someone is a Muslim increases aggressive tendencies on the part of non-Muslim Westerners. (MORE)
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