Threatening or Marginalized 7 the religious group identification. The social groups surrounding them get access to more opportunities and experience greater socioeconomic mobility. MUSLIM IDENTITY AND HOSTILITY AGAINST MUSLIMS Interestingly, most psychological research operationalizes and under- stands this hostility against Muslims in terms of realistic threat. Beck, Cha- rania, Abed-Rabo Al-Issa, and Wahab (2017) discuss the reproduction and production of Islamophobia or Islamoracism following the 9/11 attacks. The authors point to the hegemony of the West and normalized tropes of Orientalism that strengthen Islamoracism. The dominant vision of Islam in the West is often limited to violence against women, an example of which is newspaper articles printed 18 months after the 9/11 attacks that contained content that was heavily focused on women in Afghanistan and references to burkas used as body bags and trash bags. Production of such content then absolves the West of its violent acts and obscures the effects of poverty, occupation, war, and drone strikes that fuel the devastating consequences and threat of assimilating under an Islamic identity (Beck et al., 2017). Since the 9/11 attacks on U.S. soil, the research on intergroup relations has continued to work with realistic threat models (i.e., Doosje, Loseman, & Van den Bos, 2013 Doosje, Zimmermann, Küpper, Zick, & Meertens, 2009). This protocol lies in contradiction to symbolism of the Western val- ues and perceived Islamic identity. This is not to say that hostility toward Muslims and their perceived inequality have not been marked. There has also been seminal research contributing to understanding westerners’ unequal treatment and hostil- ity toward Muslims (i.e., Cottrell, Richards, & Nichols, 2010 Fischer, Gre- itemeyer, Kastenmüller, Frey, & Oswald, 2007 Fischer, Haslam, & Smith, 2010). More recently, Uenal (2016) and Obaidi, Bergh, Akrami, and Anjum (2019) demonstrated that terroristic threat was theoretically and empiri- cally more distinct from more classical or realistic threat. The nature of the relationship between religion and identity formation continues to be explored: while some scholars insist that religion plays an integral role in cultivating our sense of identity (Bae, 2016), others argue that religion has the tendency to inhibit the process of identity formation (King, 2003). If there is one thing that an overwhelming majority of researchers agree on, it is this: the inevitable social and psychological impact of religion on an individual’s sense of self (Oppong, 2013). Identity and religion, how- ever, don’t operate or influence each other in isolation. Other markers of identity such as ethnicity, race, and culture have frequently emerged to serve as explanatory factors when understanding the relationship between religion and identity (Abu-Rayya & Abu-Rayya, 2009).
Previous Page Next Page