ERIC Number: ED452310
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Jan
Image Making of Arab Americans: Implications for Teachers in Diverse Settings.
Suleiman, Mahmoud F.
Arab Americans are a very diverse group. Misinformation about Arab culture plays a significant role in American perceptions and understandings of Arab American students. Whenever major events occur in the Middle East, Arab Americans become the focus of investigation. However, the Arab American community has remained relatively silent. The media plays a large part in perpetuating stereotypes of Arabs as terrorists. This is exemplified by the original assumption that the Oklahoma bombing was the act of Arab terrorists. This massive media campaign has detrimental consequences on Arab American students, who report being harassed and attacked by peers. Considerable stereotyping and racializing occurs in contemporary films and literature, where villains often are Arabs or Muslims. People are often erroneously led to assume that these two groups are synonymous. The media also uses the term fundamentalist interchangeably with terrorist. Erroneously perceived as a unified single ethnic group, the diversity of Arab Americans is very much overlooked. Teachers must engage in rectifying stereotypes about Arab Americans. Schools can take action against prejudice, discrimination, and racism, providing professional training for staff and accurate textbooks for students. (Contains 24 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Portions of this paper were presented at the Annual Meeting of the California Association for Bilingual Education (Los Angeles, CA, January 31-February, 2001).