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Apply 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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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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Apply 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.

While there are some caveats and complications to this answer, I would argue that Arabs and Muslims are, without a doubt, more marginalized in American society than Jews are.  This is not to say that Jews are completely in the mainstream, but, particularly in post-9/11 America, Jews are much less marginalized than Arabs or Muslims.

Before answering, I must say that I live in the rural West where Jews and Judaism are not very visible.  I therefore may be underestimating the degree to which they are marginalized.  I did go to college in Chicago, where Jews are much more numerous, but I may have been too young (as well as too unfamiliar with ways in which Jews might be marginalized) to understand.  These facts may color my answer.

I should also stress that it is possible for individual Jews to be more marginalized than individual Muslims and Arabs.  For example, an Orthodox Jew who dresses and wears his hair in a distinctive way may be much more marginalized than an Arab Muslim who has assimilated and who looks like a “regular,” if somewhat “ethnic” American.  Thus, we cannot make blanket statements about the relative degree of marginalization of all Arabs/Muslims and all Jews.

Overall, though, I would argue that Jews are much less marginalized than Arabs and Muslims.  This was always true, but has become much truer since 9/11.  The main reason for this is that Muslims and Arabs are now seen not just as outsiders, but as dangerous outsiders.  People feel that Islam is at war with America.  They worry that President Obama is secretly Muslim and is trying to impose Islam on America.  (Of course, it is only some people who feel this way, but the point still holds.)  There are no such worries about Jews in mainstream American society today.  It is hard to conceive of mass protests arising if Jews were to try to build a synagogue somewhere.  By contrast, there have been many instances of protests about mosques, even leaving aside the mosque that was proposed in Manhattan, not far from the site of the World Trade Center. 

On the whole, Jews are seen as a “normal,” part of American society, even if they may be something of outsiders.  By contrast, Muslims and Arabs are seen as a major potential threat and as people whose values may be completely at odds with American values.  Therefore, I would argue that Arabs and Muslims are much more marginalized than Jews in the US today

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