Friday, June 30, 2006

Muslims and Non-Muslims

I found this piece about Muslim attitudes to non-Muslims and Non-Muslim attitudes to Muslims enlightening. The two groups are not that far apart - they, for example, share common prejudices about each other.

The enemy for both sides, in my view, is divisive religious belief and prejudice not the other party.
'Western respondents tended to see Muslims as fanatical, violent, intolerant, and disrespectful towards women. This, frankly, is hardly a shock. What might surprise Western readers is that Muslim populations tend to think of them in precisely the same way - though they add that Westerners are selfish, immoral and greedy for good measure.'


conrad said...

I'm not convinced that it is always divisive religious belief. They are hard to untangle, but there are also divisive cultural beliefs that are not neccesarily religious and one's interpretation of religion is also culturally based (gee, I start to sound like a postmodernist...). Africans, for instance, are not as disliked as Arabs in France, including those that share the same religion.

Another good example of this is what some Asian groups think of Koreans -- they think they are hopelessly sexist (which is true), and therefore frown upon Koreans as a group. This has nothing to do with religion, but is a strong negative stereotype.

Anonymous said...

Another example like Conrad's is the attitudes of (at least some) Chinese Malaysian's (who tend to be Buddhist) towards Malay Malaysians (who tend to be Muslims) - I have heard many complaints (lazy, corrupt) but have never heard one complaint about their religion.

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