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Muslim Culture and History in the United States

Introduction

Muslim culture is popular and widespread in the modern world. It is mainly so because it is intrinsically connected with Islam that is the second-largest religion internationally. That is why one can suppose that this culture has a rich history and a few distinctive features that make it unique and recognizable when compared to others. To identify whether it is true, one should locate credible sources and synthesize data from them. Thus, this research paper will focus on Muslim culture and comment on its history, role in the United States, specific achievements, values, and gender role differences to reveal a unique Muslim view of the world.

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History

Muslim culture impresses with a rich history that embraces numerous centuries. Since it is evident that this culture is closely connected with Islam, one can find an approximate period when the two appeared. Thus, Perkins (2020) admits that the oldest artifacts that represent Muslim culture date back to the 7th century. It denotes that this culture is relatively young, but it does not diminish the cultural significance and weight. For example, millions of people throughout the world are familiar with some basic Muslim concepts even if they do not belong to this culture. For instance, it refers to globally known Prophet Muhammad, who is the leading figure in the Muslim world because He disseminates Allah’s law.

Cultural Context

Culture in the American Context

Muslim culture occupies an essential role in the United States. It is so because the Muslim community is populous in the country. Thobani (2020) proves this claim by mentioning that Islam is the third largest religion in the US. However, one should admit that representatives of this culture face some challenges within the American context. It relates to the stereotype stating that Muslim people are involved in terrorism (Perkins, 2020). Even though this prejudice is not valid, numerous Americans follow it, which harms the entire society.

Individualism or Collectivism

Stating whether a culture is individualistic or collectivistic helps determine how this collection of thoughts and beliefs assesses people’s role. In particular, Arpaci et al. (2018) explain that individualism values independence and autonomy, while collectivism highlights interdependence within a group. Thus, it is challenging to state unanimously which of these terms belongs to Muslim culture because it has features of the two. On the one hand, this culture is collectivistic because it considers all Muslims being members of a single community with shared goals. On the other hand, individualistic principles emphasize the importance of personal responsibilities in achieving these common objectives. Thus, Muslim culture represents a balance between the two concepts, which reflects its uniqueness.

Arts

This culture is well-known because of its numerous artistic contributions. Firstly, Muslim architecture includes traditional gardens that highlight tactile and aural sensations (Frishkopf & Spinetto, 2018). Secondly, multiple classic songs that typically praise their religious leaders represent the musical sphere. Thirdly, Muslim arts are peculiar because Islam does not allow depicting human faces. Thus, the characteristics above demonstrate that Muslim culture has a few distinctive features that make it recognizable among others.

Values

This paragraph is going to comment on the leading values promoted by Muslim culture. Firstly, it emphasizes respect and cares for the elderly and disadvantaged. It denotes that this culture draws significant attention to abiding by ethical principles. For example, it is a cultural law that the eldest member of the family is the most influential one. Secondly, Attum et al. (2021) mention that modesty and privacy are highly evaluated in this culture. Full veils, traditional women’s clothes, are the most suitable example of this value. Finally, Muslim people draw sufficient attention to their spiritual purity (Attum et al., 2021). That is why these individuals refrain from consuming pork and alcohol since these are considered unclean.

Religion

It has already been mentioned that Islam is the leading faith of Muslim culture. This religion has its belief system, and some of its principles will be discussed further. Representatives of this faith are obliged to pray five times a day. They should wash their feet, hands, and face before each prays (Attum et al., 2018). This religion states that there is life after death, denoting that disease, death, and other emergencies are considered a God’s plan. Furthermore, Attum et al. (2018) clarify that Islam permits organ donation, blood transfusion, and abortion under some circumstances, while euthanasia is prohibited. These examples have demonstrated the fundamental belief system of Islam.

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Sex and Gender Role Differences

In Muslim countries, men and women do not have equal rights and freedoms. Thobani (2020) mentions that the two sexes have rigidly formulated roles in society, and the following examples will demonstrate it. Firstly, some women in Muslim countries should have male guardians. Bleiker (2017) explains that these are male relatives who play a pivotal role when it comes to making significant decisions in women’s lives, including the issues regarding divorce, leaving a country of residence, and others. Secondly, women experience stricter regulations regarding their dress codes. In those Muslim regions where cultural beliefs are more traditional, women should cover their head, face, and entire body. Finally, a significant gender difference exists regarding marriage and family relations (Bleiker, 2017). It refers to the fact that a man is allowed to have many wives, while women are strictly prohibited from having a few husbands.

Acculturation

If there is a need to acculturate into this culture, one should be aware of its main features, but the most significant attention should be drawn to how Muslim people approach their cultural beliefs. Since these individuals strictly abide by their religion and traditions, they do not accept it if newcomers show disrespect. The reasoning for this claim can be found in the source by Attum et al. (2021) because the authors explain that Muslim people require specific attention when American healthcare professionals take care of such patients. That is why the acculturation process should start from acquiring particular and detailed knowledge regarding Muslim culture and the Islamic faith.

Conclusion

The research paper has presented a detailed overview of Muslim culture and demonstrated that it has a unique set of beliefs and concepts. Credible sources have been located and analyzed to synthesize reliable evidence on the topic. Specific details regarding its history, leading religion, and cultural contributions reveal what place the Muslim system of beliefs occupies in the world and the United States. Furthermore, values, individualistic and collectivistic features, and gender differences demonstrate how the given culture assesses a person and their role in society. The identified data allowed for supposing that it is possible to acculturate to the Muslim world if one manages to meet a specific requirement. It refers to becoming aware of the leading cultural and religious principles and following them. Newcomers must avoid showing disrespect to this culture because indigenous people will not appreciate it.

References

Arpaci, I., Baloğlu, M., & Kesici, S. (2018). The relationship among individual differences in individualism-collectivism, extraversion, and self-presentation. Personality and Individual Differences, 121, 89-92.

Attum, B., Hafiz, S., Malik, A., & Shamoon, Z. (2021). Cultural competence in the care of Muslim patients and their families. StatPearls Publishing.

Bleiker, C. (2017). Women’s rights in the Islamic world. Deutsche Welle. 

Frishkopf, M., & Spinetti, F. (Eds.). (2018). Music, sound, and architecture in Islam. University of Texas Press.

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Perkins, A. (2020). Muslim American city: Gender and religion in Metro Detroit. NYU Press.

Thobani, S. (2020). Contesting Islam, constructing race and sexuality: The inordinate desire of the West. Bloomsbury Publishing.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, June 28). Muslim Culture and History in the United States. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/muslim-culture-and-history-in-the-united-states/

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StudyCorgi. "Muslim Culture and History in the United States." June 28, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/muslim-culture-and-history-in-the-united-states/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Muslim Culture and History in the United States." June 28, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/muslim-culture-and-history-in-the-united-states/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Muslim Culture and History in the United States'. 28 June.

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