Stereotyping The Followers Of Islam Essay, Research Paper
Stereotyping the Followers of Islam
The movie, Not Without My Daughter, begins when the family of Mahmoody, Mahtob, and Betty were visiting with the grandparents of Mahtob. Mahmoody, who is Muslim, decides to take his young family to Iran. He swears on the sacred Coran that nothing bad will happen to them. As it turns out, Iran had just finished their revolution and had gone back to the old ways, when women have minimal rights. Mahmoody decides to stay in Iran with his family and Betty can’t do anything about it, but Betty and her daughter Mahtob manage to get back to America.
Stereotyping: A minor fault of all people today. What is it? It is the common mistake all people make when they think that a certain minority is all the same just because they may have seen one of the members. One example of this is the movie, Not Without My Daughter. This movie has a repetitive tendency to portray all male Iranians as wife beaters. This may seem pretty blunt, but in a way, it pretty much summarizes the antagonist of the plot.
The video I compared to this is called Islam in America. It showed almost all aspects of the Muslim religion in America today. The differences between the two may be because of the seperate countries, and after viewing Islam in America, I think that some of the instances in Not Without My Daughter were a bit exaggerated.
One part of the movie that set me off, was when Betty was doing something that Moody didn’t like. He slapped her because she had disobeyed him. Is this realistic in the Muslim religion? Probably not. It might be in Iran, but probably not in the religion itself. One of the ideals of the Muslim religion is that all people, male or female, are created equal. The documentary on Islam in America supports this. Yet, a Hollywood production that most people in America as well as other countries watch, portrays the religion as the rationale to the wife beating. This, subconsciously or consciously, gives a message to the viewers that all Muslim men beat their wives, and that turns them away.
Another part of the movie that I didn’t take kindly to, was when Betty went to the American Interests department in the Swiss Embassy for help to get out of the country. Because of this Muslim country’s laws, they could not help Betty and her daughter though they wished they could. They also informed her that misfortunes like this happen all the time in Iran. This may also seem as though the Muslim religion itself is responsible, when once again it is the country and its government that is accountable. From watching the documentary, I have learned that Islam in America is different only by the fact that America is a free country, where women have the right to leave their husbands. People have the right to practice whatever religion they want to. Islam in America is also full of diverse people with different races, origins, and ideas; and not just one race that has descended from Abraham like the Jews and Hebrews believe.
One problem with this comparison is that the two videos are of different countries, so it is hard to say if one was stereotyping the followers of Islam. From this comparison it is easy to see that the laws greatly effect what people perceive the laws of a religion to be. In conclusion, I believe that in order to end stereotyping, we must first accept other people for who they are and not by what their culture portrays.
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