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Running head: Immersion of Muslim America

Reflection Essay on Muslims

Rosine T. Niyungeko
Georgia State University

Immersion of Muslim America

While doing the group project on Muslims it become clear that just because you think
you know about group doesnt mean that you really know anything about it. The Islam group is
so big for a person to assume that everyone in that particular group is the same. Through
research and going out into the world and talking to people of that group is actually very helpful.
It helps you put into perspective of the things you been about the group. Before doing our
research and interviewing on Islam the generalizations that my group has was that Muslims have
a very strict religion that doesnt allow them to have boundaries and the roles that the family
share to build as a whole. We thought that womens role in the family is to be submissive to their
husbands, take care of the house and children. While interviewing my friend Sano, She explained
that there different people and it depends on how you were raised and your beliefs as an
individual. She explained that culture plays a big part of your beliefs because not all Muslims are
the same depending on what part of the world you come from. It actually made me reflect on my
childhood and was able to see where all the generalizations came from. When my family and I
were living in Zambia, our neighbors where Muslims. Growing up seeing the way my neighbors
wife was treated made me think that it was part of Islam. His wife was not allowed to go
anywhere, she was to stay at home and never get out of the gate. The few times that she did and
her husband found out she would get in trouble like a child we is being disciplined by her
parents. It wasnt until I came here and lived with other people who were Muslims that I realized
that all this time Ive been assuming Islam community is a certain way when its actually not.
According to Chadwick (2001), Palestinian women are now becoming very much in providing
income for the family because of the education that is being provided they realize that need to do
more for the family. When asked what being Muslim meant to Sano she said that It means I
believe in God and that god created everyone equal, it means I have faith in all prophets and
using reason, knowledge to come to a conclusion is an important part of the Muslim belief. It
means no violence and acceptance of everybody because we are human and all created by god
(personal communication, September 26, 2014).
The media is also another big part of where we get our information and it is so sad how
we assume that just because the media says so means that its true. So we start assuming and
stereotyping people to be a certain way when they are really not. For example, when Sano was
asked about feels that Muslims have be stereotyped in the media she said " The obvious and
crucial is that people believe that being Muslim is being terrorist. Every time I say I am Muslim I
get a face or people ask me about terrorist. I get this type of question a lot Is my marriage going
to be arranged, forced or can I choose? I guess the way it affect me is that I dont feel
comfortable telling people I am Muslim because people will just make assumption about me
without getting to know me as an individual (personal communication, September 26, 2014).
Another assumption that American is that they link terrorism to the Islam community mostly to
the Country of Iran (Gerges, 2003, p.78). Thats why it is very important that we stop assuming
that people are a certain way when we dont really know how they are.
After the end of the interview I asked my friend Sano how she wanted us the future
Social workers to see her community and she said that she is tired of people judging the Islam
community just because a few people have done wrong. She feels like if she was to be judged
she would rather a person judges her for because of her character.

Immersion of Muslim America


Gerges, F. A. (2003). Islam and Muslims in the mind of America. The Annals of the American
Academy of Political and Social Science, 588(1), 73-89.
Huntington, R. L., Fronk, C., & Chadwick, B. A. (2001). Family Roles of Contemporary
Palestinian Women. Journal Of Comparative Family Studies, 32(1), 1-19.