In the contemporary world, people receive prejudiced treatment because of various factors. Some of these factors could be attributable to their respective belief systems. This paper attempts to explain the causes of prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory behavior. The attempt is manifest in a self-reflection process and identification of prejudicial attitudes in others.
After the completion of the table, certain perceptions that were previously held have changed. This could be explained by a better understanding that currently exists after acquisition of facts regarding the religions. It is not common for me to judge anyone based on their religious beliefs as there are many beliefs and people can choose which they please. There was also a belief that Muslims belonged to one large group and they were united. However, after completion of the chart there is realization that there exist two sets of Muslims who do not necessarily like one another. Another prejudice that was held was that all the Muslims were dangerous people and there was need to avoid them. This is however not true because they are an organized religious group and their prayer routine is strict. It is unlikely that a group of people that prays five times daily could do such illegal acts as terrorists attack. Moreover, the chart does not indicate anywhere that the principles of Muslims could include killing people through terror attacks. In fact, their religious practices do not indicate their intention to engage in the rumored holy wars. It is just religious organizations whose followers believe in their practices and are required to visit Mecca once in their lives (Nelson, 2009).
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Another perception that I had was against Jews with their entire belief system. I believed that they emerged from Hitler’s time and that their agenda is to kill innocent people. However, after filling in the chart, I also realized that Jews are not harmful people as I previously thought. I also believed that those who believed in the Latter Day Saints religious affiliation were unreasonable. The assumption was also based on my lack of understanding of the principles of their belief system. There is no proof that people who belong to this group are not intelligent. These are just stereotypes created by people who do not understand the principles that govern different religious affiliations (Vergote, 1997).
I do not recall any incidence that people have judged me basing on my belief systems. The places that I have visited have not subjected me to the kind of religious prejudice. No one has shown me such prejudice since I am usually not vocal about it. Not that I am not proud of it but I just choose to be silent about it. Sometimes it is beneficial to protect one from such situations that might hurt you. This means it is not a personal problem that I have experienced but I have seen people who have been affected. They are unfairly treated or told hurtful sentiments because the other people do not like their belief systems.
In conclusion, it is safe to conclude that no one needs to be judged according to their belief system. Just like I belong to a certain affiliation, then everyone else can choose what to believe in. Prejudice based on someone’s belief system should be highly discouraged as it could lead to negative effects. Such effects could include lowering the self-esteem of the people who are given the prejudice. For example, all the stereotypes that have been created around the Muslims and their belief system are false. They are not killers and in turn should not be treated as though they are criminals (In Parekh, & In Childs, 2016)
In Parekh, R., & In Childs, E. W. (2016). Stigma and prejudice: Touchstones in understanding diversity in healthcare .
Nelson, J. M. (2009). Psychology, religion, and spirituality .
Vergote, A. (1997). Religion, belief and unbelief . Leuven: Leuven University Press.