by jam20 on December 8, 2016 - 11:04pm
The United States was founded on the idea that anybody should be granted the freedom to practice their desired religion without consequence. Although many Americans feel patriotism due to this freedom, not all religions are equally respected. Preceding the events of the September 11th attacks, American attitudes towards Islam have changed drastically. The article Islamophobia? Religion, Contact with Muslims, and the Respect for Islam, explores the American attitude towards Islam and how it is influenced by religion.
The vast majority of U.S. citizens are affiliated with some subdivision of Christianity. Due to this, other non-Christian religions in the U.S. often fall victim to negative opinions and hostile attitudes from others, especially Muslims. This article evaluates the attitudes that Christians and non-Christians have of Muslims in order to determine if religious affiliation could predispose someone to being discriminatory against Muslims. The findings from this article use survey data from the Portraits of America life study in 2006 in which 2,610 participants had to undergo extensive interviews to determine their perspective of Islam. When asked “which religion do you have the least respect for?” 21% of participants responded with Islam(Jung,117). The results determined that those that were Catholics, Evangelical Protestants, Mainline Protestant, or any other form of Christian, had an increased likelihood of having a low respect for Muslims than those not affiliated with Christianity.(Jung,120) This is a significant because it confirms that there is still a meaningful Christian and non-Christian boundary. This also determines that the way in which an individual perceives another religion is indicative of their own religious affiliation.
As a person not having affiliation with any religion, I believe it is important for all religions to be respected. Regardless if Christianity is the dominant religion in the U.S, it does not mean it deserves more respect than other religions. It is imperative for many individuals to practice their religion freely in order for them to have a fulfilling life and they should not be subjected to hostile attitudes for doing so. Every religion should be equally respected so that individuals do not face consequences for simply carrying out their 1st amendment right.
Jung, J. (2012). Islamophobia? Religion, Contact with Muslims, and the Respect for Islam. Review of Religious Research, 54(1), 113-126. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.uri.idm.oclc.org/stable/41940766