Second-, third-, and fourth-generation Americans of Arab origin are sometimes treated as if they have just arrived from the Middle East and might be potential terrorists. These stereotypes significantly affect people’s perceptions of who Arab-Americans and other Middle Easterners are. Such perceptions increased significantly after 9/11; high-profile terrorist incidents continue to be followed by increased incidents of bias hate against Middle Easterners. The rise in anti-Muslim hate groups as well as hate crimes against Arab Americans and others perceived to be Arab, Muslim, or Middle Eastern constitute important ongoing concerns of law enforcement. An understanding of Arab American and Middle Eastern heterogeneity as well as the impact of related societal stereotypes will assist police officers in their approach and relationships with people from these diverse background
Ignorance and stereotyping of Islam and Muslim communities keeps many people from recognizing the positive contributions of this group in America. Law enforcement agencies have made progress in establishing strong, trusting relationships with their Muslim American communities that the police believe have advanced public safety.
“Hypothetical Community Policing Scenario”:
You are a supervisor assigned to the SCC Police Department:
During the holy month of Ramadan during a religious celebration in Sacramento, SCC police officers ticketed many cars parked across the street from a mosque. According to Muslim and Arab-American community members, the stores adjacent to the parking lots were closed, and although parking was technically for customers only, the attendees did not anticipate that there would be a problem utilizing the parking lot after hours.
From a community relations point of view, the mass ticketing created some very negative feelings and a collective perception that “They (meaning the police) don’t respect us; they don’t want to understand us.”
What is your opinion regarding the way things were handled by your officers? Do you have any suggestions as to how this situation could have been avoided? Comment on what both the community and the police could have done to prevent the problem.
As a result of the incident, you have been tasked with developing a policing strategy focused on building relationships with the Muslim & Arab-American community. Provide an overview of policing strategy you would implement. In partiuclar, identify and discuss Muslim organizations, businesses and non profits your agency can work with to build lasting relationships with the Muslim & Arab-American. communities.
See video link below to learn more about Ramadan.
Minimum 300 words)