MarginalityApply the concept of marginality to Jewish Americans and to Muslim and Arab Americans. In your opinion, which of the groups is more marginalized? Support your answer.

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vangoghfan's profile pic

vangoghfan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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I agree that Arabs and Muslims are far more marginalized. Jewish Americans have had a far longer time to have an impact on American culture.  Many of the most prominent Americans in practically all fields are Jewish Americans.  This is not the case, at present, to anywhere near the same degree with Arab Americans.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Post #8 makes a cogent point. Jewish immiagrants came into Ellis Island at the turn of the twentieth centure and have been living in America much longer than other non-Christians.  Israel is also a nation that America supports with $12 billion tax dollars a year and is considered "an ally."

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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I agree with all the posts that Muslims and Arabs are much more marginalized. Part of this is due to the horrors of the holocaust. This is something that we should never forget. Also it helps that the Jews in America have a lot of clout in academics, media, finance, and other influential areas. When it comes to Muslims and Arabs, they do not usually have high profile jobs in America.

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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I also would agree that Muslims and Arabs are more marginalised. For example, since 911, look at the fear (and stereotypes associated with) associated with Muslims and Arabs when traveling. People tend to get anxious or worried when on a plane with people representative of either of the groups. That being said, one does not (typically) get anxious if traveling with a Jewish person.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I would argue that Muslims and Arabs are definitely more marginalised, thanks to the aftermath of 9/11. You only have to look at the way that racial profiling occurs to see this in action and the ways in which stop and search rules target Muslims and Arabs far more than they do other groups.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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I also agree that Muslims and Arab Americans receive more scrutiny, especially since 9/11. Despite their small numbers, Jews are accepted in virtually all social and public domains, though I think it is unlikely that the vast Christian voting bloc will ever promote a Jewish president. Until the 9/11 hysteria evaporates--and it may never do so, what with terrorist cells infiltrating our borders and threats by Iran to iradicate Israel and then come after the U. S.--Muslims and Arabs will have to deal with the suspicious nature of many Americans.

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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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I too would agree with Muslims and Arab Americans are more marginalized. My example would be any time we are at an airport. Since the 911 attacks, there is a heightened awareness of who else is flying on the plane, and no one would think twice of a Jewish person flying -- even a fully traditional Hasidic Jew would hardly get a second glance, but a traditionally garbed Arab would most assuredly get a lot of side-long looks and a more thorough screening at the gate.

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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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While I agree with the second response that Muslims and Arabs are more marginalized, I do think that a Jewish president would be criticized on the basis of his Judaism.   Kennedy was criticized as a Catholic, and Romney has had to bear the burden of attacks on his Mormonism.  I see nothing to suggest that this would not be a problem for a Jewish president, assuming one would be electable in the first place.  Also, there is so much rhetoric about this being a Christian country, and those who would like to see prayer returned to school are most definitely not advocating for anything but Christian prayer.  This marginalizes Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and any other religion that is not Christian.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Muslims and Arabs are more marginalized.  For example, you would never have criticism of a president for the fact that he's Jewish whereas the mere suspicion that Obama is Muslim makes many people extremely unhappy.  We have gotten to the point where anti-Semitic prejudice is socially unacceptable.  We are not there on Muslims.

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