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    American Muslims and American Values

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    The way we think every day are influenced by our core values and cultural world view. In order to move past our basis, we need to understand our cultural background, individual bias, personal ethics, and past experiences to help form the basis of our values. Understanding my core values and the social value will help me to examine the situations without any interfere with the judgment I make of a person. Every person culture and value depend on where they come from and what environment they live in. I belong to various group memberships that characterize me as a person. I’m a practicing Muslim, so I belong in the group of nearly 2 billion people worldwide.

    I’m also a Pakistani-American; even though I was born in the United States, I was raise in Pakistan for 8 years, so I identify heavily with the culture. I’m also a college student in George Mason University who has learned to be more independent and grown as a student and member of society. I mostly identify myself as an independent woman. I strongly believe that a person should be able to take care of themselves and does not allow a man to affect her stability or self-confidence. Coming from my own background, being from a Pakistani household, independence isn’t something that is often seen. That is the reason for my strong identification with being an independent person that cannot be defined by only my culture or religion.

    As mentioned before, I strongly identify as being a Muslim and Pakistani because I grew up in a household that practiced the religion and identified heavily with the culture. However, the cultural values of my family do not align all the time because I have a more open-minded opinion than traditional ones. Since I am receiving an education in a different country and I am pursuing an occupation that is different from that of anyone in my family, the values and orientations are not always the same. I believe that it is morally my duty to help another person if I have the ability to do so. A helping relationship, where I am the person who can help someone else, ties in with my own religious beliefs about helping others and not expecting anything in return. I believe that others can heavily influence human behavior, this includes good and bad influences from the people around you. A person can change and grow for the better with the right kind of outside influences, such as a helping relationship with a friend or social worker.

    My family is a Pakistani-American Muslim family with values that are influenced by religion and culture equally. They have a more conservative outlook on different world views. For example, the religious sphere will be more aligned with Islamic teachings and many of my family’s decisions will be based on the Islamic context. The dominant cultural values are Pakistani, meaning that my family has traditions and ways of going about life (occupation, education, marriage) based on the traditional Pakistani mindset. My family view on occupation, education and marriage is based on your sex.

    Basically, all the male would get whatever they want, and they even have to try hard for it. Occupation male is view as the money maker in the family, so the female doesn’t really have work. They can just dependent on them. Education is a chose for female and must for male. Finally, marriage is the same for both gender because they both don’t get to choose they’re partner; the parents get to do that. Some of the dominant American cultural values include patriotism, freedom, and equality. All these values stand to make an American proud of the country they’re from and the rights that the country has for its citizens. These values are reinforced by legislation and the Constitution; they are also encouraged in schools, in the media, and in community programs.

    The school system is one of the biggest advocate for American cultural values include patriotism, freedom, and equality. Every morning the schools make students stands towards the American flag and sing pledge of allegiance, this example of patriotism. Education system requires public school to teach students about our nation’s history that is built by freedom and equal. Freedom from the Britain and equality towards all race. Social media and community outreach are also great way to currently promoting our dominant American cultural values to the public as a reminder as what we stand for. These values are taught to me through school and other social institutions like community programs and social media. These dominant American cultural values were not transmitted in my family or culture because Islam and the Pakistani culture heavily influenced me – both group memberships are not dominant in the American culture.

    So, my understanding of the dominant cultures came from outside sources that were not in my household before. There were mainly transmitted to me by high school and my work environment. I also very big in social media and that where I get my news fed from. It really helps me shape my opinions on topic on a different level because it shows my facts. The values come from an Islam and Pakistani background. One of the consonances is the helping relationship – where in Islam the action of helping someone without expecting anything in return is very important. A dissonance would be that individual independence isn’t something that is encouraged or expected of young women in Pakistani culture. Women’s in Pakistan has minimum rights where their opinion does not matter in macro level. The dominant American culture values are a heavy influence on me personally because it is the society that I have had to grow up and socialize in.

    A consonance would be that the culture values independence and freedom for all. A dissonance would be that the freedom does not really apply equally to everyone because of the history of prejudice against those that are not the ideal picture of a dominant American – based on race, socioeconomic background, religion, sex, etcetera. Base on the article “Is There a Culture War? Conflicting Value Structures in American Public Opinion” by Verhezen, P. it gives us more understanding on value and political view differ. It talks about how government can turn a blind eye to seeing what is right when the long-term effect is good and beneficial for the future. In other words, as long as they get what ‘they’’ want at the of the day. This other article by Jacoby also talks about the differences between cultures opinion and political view. “Culture is also an important source of the issues that arise in day-to-day political life” ( JACOBY, W. G).

    For example, the “#METOO” movement helped to promote awareness about rape and harassment and empower victims to come forth and seek justice for those attackers. In a way we are also a voice for the government; telling them what’s wrong and right here and now in the world. “Within the bounds defined by cultural standards, there is likely to be conflict because the desirable end-states implied by values are, to varying degrees, mutually exclusive of each other. That is, the consequences of attaining one value (e.g., freedom) will almost certainly restrict the degree to which some other desirable end-state is achieved (e.g., equality)”.

    One big current issue right now is senator Brett Kavanaugh still being able to become a senator even though our culture and society didn’t trust him because multiple women were coming up speaking of harassment cases bought up during his time in college. My values are a combination of both the family of origin and the dominate society. I spent the first part of my life being influenced by my family and then the major part of my young adult life being influences by the dominant American culture. A consonance would be that I have a middle ground understanding both cultures and I am able to choose which values I agree with more. A dissonance would be that the two cultures contradict each other which can sometimes makes it difficult to decide on which value is right in my opinion.

    African American is one class that is very different in some ways but similar toward my values in other ways at the same time. We both have different religion and family values, and yet we both find strength and unity through communal worship. Our family orientation is different. How Pakistani Muslims raise their children is typically more strict and protective. One the other hand because of the history surrounding African Americans they prefer to raise their family free will. We are both criticized in skin color, but Pakistani Muslims are also criticized for their religion. People believe that my religion prompted a war against non-Muslims which is not true at all. In the” American culture and the Muslim world” by Skerry, P talks about studies on how 9/11 launched fear and hatred that is against the extremes of American culture. This was important because the American people are proud for what their country represents.

    So, after these events many Americans turn their back on Muslims and started to show hatred towards them. African American are also being criticize for their skin color as many Americans still carry racist views towards those with darker skin due to the segregation in the 40s and 50s. Slavery was a big part of American history, where Africa American had to fight hard to get their own freedom and equality. This was unfair because it wasn’t their fault that they were born with a darker skin tone. Both races faced great injustices and cruelty differently through their own time in period in history. One race is getting injustice because of its skin color like African America and the other for being judge because what one group action cause the whole religion to suffer. In the end all culture differs in their own way. It all depend on where you come from and what environment you live in. No one should be judge base on their culture views. Everyone is different, and we should be accepting of them for who they are and look past it when helping other.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    American Muslims and American Values. (2021, Aug 25). Retrieved from

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