What Muslims Get Wrong about Americans

What Muslims Get Wrong about Americans

what Muslims get wrong heading

Written by Theresa Corbin

As an American and a Muslim, I am trying my best to fill the enormous gap of understanding between the “Western world” and the “Muslim world”. And mostly I have discussed what Americans/Westerners don’t know about Islam and the Muslims, or rather what they get dead wrong.

But today I am flipping the script and talking about what Muslims (from overseas … because there is such a thing as Muslim Americans … me, for example) think about America and Americans that are false or just harmful stereotyping.

This prejudice thing is a two-way street. And the sooner we start thinking in terms of one world, with billions of individuals, instead of us vs. them, the sooner we can get down to the business of peace.

So let me introduce you, who may not know America except through stereotypes, to reality.

1. Americans are gluttonous skinny American

Sure, a large amount of Americans are overweight. Sure, we have a show called “Man versus Food” where a dude eats so much that he almost dies every episode.

And yes, we do have an obesity problem, but it has little to do with gluttony and a lot to do with what the government subsidizes and allows corporations to sell as food that is not really food at all. It’s a whole thing.

BUT Americans are becoming more and more conscious about what they eat and what they think is actually edible (not McDonald’s. that is for sure). As it turns out, tons of Americans are obsessed with healthy living, moderation, and clean eating.

And, we are, in fact, only number 2 in obesity, following Mexico. So much for the chant: “We’re # 1!”.

2. Americans are arrogant

Have you been to France? Yes, this one is true. Except that I can’t think of any group of people that doesn’t have an arrogance problem. This arrogance thing is a human problem. Many people including Americans, are humble, but most human beings are arrogant.

3. Americans are either cowboys or business professionals

Don’t forget about all the hipsters and soccer moms.

4. All Americans hate Muslimsamerican-muslim hug

Nope. Not even close.

Some people really do hate Muslims. But most people are open-minded and welcoming. Generally, Americans have a deep love of difference, exploring other cultures, and learning new things.

5. America is one big mall and everyone is obsessed with consumerism

BEEEPPPP … This is a message from the Emergency Shopping System: BEEEPPPPPP …

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog because Sephora is having a sale.

Just joking. I have never even been to a Sephora.

This stereotype has its basis in reality. But it is an oversimplification.

Yes, there are shopping centers everywhere and more pop up like weeds. And yes, many Americans go into debt buying crap they do not need. But the problem is not that people want to do this mindless shopping and spending. It is more like big business in cooperation with ad execs have brainwashed us into thinking this is our only purpose in life.

There is, however, a huge movement in the Western world called anti-consumerism. More and more people are opening their eyes to this problem and de-programing their brains.  Google Anti-Consumerism movement to find out more (I’m too lazy to add a link. See why in # 9).

6. Americans are dumb world_according_to_americans

Every group has there stupid people. Just because our dumb people know how to use YouTube and Twitter or start a “news” network and name it after a smart animal (a Fox), doesn’t mean we are all more dumber! 😉

7. America’s elected officials represent the wishes of the people.

So funny! Oh, wait, you really believe that?

Most Americans don’t even know what is done in their names by their “representatives”. After the election is over and officials take office, they pretty much do whatever their campaign financiers tell them, and disregard the needs of the people and the interests of the country. All for the sake of getting more money to be re-elected and do it all over again.

nascar

8. We are all rioting in the streets over racial tension.

Sometimes we march in peaceful protest and sometimes it’s not about race but income inequality or the occupation in Palestine.

We do have problems with racism and riots do break out. But just like the entire Middle East is not constantly in chaos, the US is not in constant riot or threat of riot. It’s a big place that the media can sometimes represent in a small way.

9. Americans are lazy

I am lazy, but I am not exactly representative of the whole.

Follow this link (click here) to find out why “lazy” is an inaccurate representation of the average American and the history of America. That is, unless you are too lazy to read another thing.

10. Americans are rich.

One in five American families are going hungry right now. And homelessness is at crisis levels.  America is home to some very rich people. But those people make up only 1% of our population.  The very rich 1 % own 40% of all wealth in America. To add insult to injury, these rich citizens get major tax breaks (see # 7

by Mike Thompson
by Mike Thompson

to find out why.)

We were once a nation with a large middle class of people who lived comfortably with a lot of surplus.

But now we are a nation in debt and trying to live off of a $7.25 per hour minimum wage (at 40 hours a week if your are lucky to get full time employment), in places where housing costs alone is sky high (at around $2,000 a month in New York). You do the math to see if Americans are rich.

So the next time you decide to hate on Americans, stop and remember we are all in this world together and stereotyping large groups of people is just dumb.

Add to the list in the comments below!

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15 thoughts on “What Muslims Get Wrong about Americans

  1. 11. All American women are skimpily-dressed and promicuous, drunken party girls. Because Hollywood says so, it must be true. This is very untrue and particularly frustrating for converts when “brothers” (and I use this term veeery generally) think they can approach us for haram relationships or talk us out of hijab.

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    1. Someone just commented this same thing on the fb page. I was going to put that one in there. but ran out of time and space … and b/c #9. But really this is such a BIG issue with me I think I might start cursing if I add it. So thank you for bringing it up. It is so beyond infuriating when men from other countries (esp. Muslim “brothers”) think they can use American women, even if they are Muslim. They think that because that is where THEIR mind is and shows more about them than American women. #StopWatchingPorn

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  2. I definitely have had this on my mind. I’m so glad you wrote about this! One thing I’d like to add is that many Americans are generally very kind, courteous, and love to do good for others. They love giving gifts and making people happy. In short, they have many values and ethics that coincide with Islamic teachings. In my experience I’ve personally felt a lack of the kindness and goodwill in the muslim community that I was used to in the non muslim American community. Although I believe the reasons to have even better manners and kindness exist in Islam, it’s just that some muslims lose sight of implementing those values or fall short for various reasons.

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  3. Thank you for your nice information about Americans. I admit sis, last time, yes I hate Americans especially its governments. They were so arrogance! (Sorry I can’t agree with their policies)
    But, since I met you and made friendships with some Americans, I can change my perception about it. I can see that Americans are nice and warm. I have many friends from America, such as you! 🙂

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    1. No need to apologize. I don’t know even one American that doesn’t either hate the government’s policies or is ignorant of them. Like I said the people don’t really say what the government does (even thought that is what a democracy should be) but the politicians are all paid to do the biding of the ultra wealthy. Americans are generally good and have great manners, mashAllah.

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  4. اسلام عليكم ورحمةالله وبركاته ابداداءما
    Çocukluğumda bir Amerikan filmi izledim ve o milletin notunu verdim.
    Askeri birlikle beraber kovboylar birleşiyor yerlilerin neslini kurutacağız diye anlaşıyorlar. Tek bir kabile kalmıştır. O kabileyi abluka altına alıyorlar. Askerler ve kovboylar atlar üzerinde hem dönüyorlar, hem ateş ediyorlar. Kadın, çocuk, ne varsa öldürüyorlar. Yarım asırdan fazladır sahne gözlerimin önünden hiç gitmez; Zavallı kadın bebeği kucağında; kurşunların isabetiyle yere devriliyor. Onun üzerine bebeğini de kurşunluyorlar. Acaba hangi haysiyet hangi vicdan bunu kabul elerki siz bunlara adları üstünde hem “yerli” diyorsunuz. Böyle demekle kendilerinizi misafir addediyorsunuz. Hem de dünya kamu oyuna bu manzarayı sahneliyorsunuz. İşte biz misafir olmakla beraber hane sahibinin neslini kurutuyoruz. İşte biz böyle bir milletiz diye kendinizle iftihar edercesine vaziyet takınıyorsunuz. Doysunlar sizin insanlığınıza!!!!!
    Theresa Corbin
    Sen Şerefli İslâm tarihindeki Mücahide kadınlara benziyorsun. Onlar kocalarını, kardeşlerini, Babaları ve akrabalarını kâfirlerle çarpışırken izlerken; birden bire yanlarındaki hemcinsleri kadınlara; “biz burada onların ölümlerini mi seyredeceğiz ”diyerek kılıç ları ellerine alarak küffarın üzerine yürü muşlardır.
    اسلام عليكم ورحمةالله وبركاته ابداداءما

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  5. Jazak Allah! Before I visited the States I used to think and agree with some of those statements! So, sorry folks! Y’all kinda nice people, really… and far less snobby than us Brits!

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    1. Wayakum! You are the second Brit to tell me British people are snobby. I had no idea 😉 . Hope to one day jump the pond and see for myself. Cheers!

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      1. Maybe I will visit the UK to give a speech. It seems to be the only way I get to travel these days. And I will say “good morning” to everyone no matter what time of day it is! That should show them!

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