Presentation on theme: "Del Carmen Consulting, LLC Dr. Alex del Carmen"— Presentation transcript:
1 Del Carmen Consulting, LLC Dr. Alex del Carmen Cultural DiversityDel Carmen Consulting, LLCDr. Alex del Carmen
2 Contact InformationDel Carmen Consulting, LLCDr. Alex del CarmenPh:
3 Course ObjectivesIdentify and Discuss Theories of Prejudice and DiscriminationDifferentiate Between Culture, Ethnicity, and RaceDifferentiate Between Culture, Subculture, Contra Culture and Counter CulturesIdentify Key Issues in Making Law Enforcement Contacts in Cases Which May Involve Hate CrimesIdentify Key Issues in Racial ProfilingDiscuss Problems with Improper Citizen Stops
4 Course Objectives (cont.) Define a GangIdentify Types of GangsDiscuss Local Gang ProblemsIdentify and Differentiate Among the Terms “Middle Eastern”, “Arab”, and “Muslim”.Identify Common Religious Beliefs of MuslimsIdentify Key Issues in Making Law Enforcement Contacts with Persons from Middle Eastern Cultures
5 Theories of Prejudice and Discrimination Prejudice is "an unfavorable attitude toward people because they are members of a particular group”Discrimination is "an unfavorable action toward people because they are members of a particular racial or ethnic group"Many people assume that prejudice is the cause and discrimination is the effect; thus, if a person seems to be prejudiced against others, then that person is more likely to discriminate.
6 Theories of Prejudice and Discrimination (cont.) Prejudice is clear enough when it appears, but it emerges in many ways and takes forms that are not necessarily expressed.Discrimination may take the form of explicit action by a person or a group, but when someone attempts to recount that action, culprits may be hard to find.Law enforcement officers and other members of the public sometimes cultivate prejudice and practice discrimination, relying on the unclear nature of those phenomena as an alibi.
7 Theories of Prejudice and Discrimination (cont.) According to the Cultural Transmission Theory of Prejudice, "the building blocks of prejudice are contained within the society’s traditions or culture and are transmitted to children in a natural way as they are exposed to those traditions in the home and community"According to this theory, children within a cultural group are taught stereotypes—simplified images—of people outside the group.
8 Theories of Prejudice and Discrimination (cont.) In the United States, cultural stereotypes are widely held by all kinds of people.In a famous study at Princeton University in 1933, an astonishing number of students concurred in their stereotypes of Americans, English, Jews, Germans, Italians, Chinese, Japanese, and Turks.After World War II (1946), new studies revealed that widespread stereotypes had changed during the war; for instance, Germans were stereotyped as "warlike" and the Japanese as "sly."
9 Theories of Prejudice and Discrimination (cont.) The creation and promotion of stereotypes is aggravated by imagery in mass communication.In the United States, this fact is most obvious in terms of racism: until the 1960s, Black Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, and other minority groups were frequently belittled in the media.When the civil rights movement gained ground in the 1960s, members of minorities slowly began to appear in the mass media in less stereotypical ways.
10 ExerciseIn a small group setting, describe an instance in which discrimination can take place in a law enforcement setting. In your explanation, attempt to explain why discrimination took place and the necessary steps that could have prevented this incident from occuring.
11 Personality Theory: Frustration and Aggression The Frustration/Aggression Theory asserts that social frustration caused by struggles for power within society causes aggression by members of one social group against members of another.People put up with all kinds of abuse within their own social groups, as anyone whose family’s security is threatened by a cruel boss will readily testify.When such abuse occurs and cannot be prevented, people have a natural impulse to retaliate.Since they often cannot retaliate against the source of their troubles, they look for someone with equal or less social power to retaliate against in place of the real (but too powerful) target.
12 Personality Theory: Frustration and Aggression Frustration, then, drives subordinate members of powerful social groups to commit aggressive injustice against social scapegoats, who are usually individuals in an even lower level of the power structure.The frustration/aggression hypothesis runs up against a basic problem: groups outside one’s own really do mean one harm sometimes.As the old joke puts it, just because you are paranoid does not mean that they are not out to get you.
13 Group Identification Theory: Ethnocentrism When people gather into groups, they naturally tend to view groups outside of their own as different, and they are more likely to view other groups as inferior. This tendency is called ethnocentrism.Ethnocentrism hinges on the notion that the primary importance of one’s own group is a "given," and that the standards and behaviors of other groups are of questionable value, at best.Ethnocentrism creates strong communities through familial and social ties based on intimacy, but it also creates deep conflicts between different groups compelled by law to tolerate one another.
14 Theories of Discrimination Children frequently learn to discriminate before they learn to be prejudiced.If they hear members of their group using a racist term about another group, for instance, they are likely to conform to their group by using that term, even if they do not know what it means.Pre-existing discrimination can create a "vicious circle" of discrimination.
15 Situational Pressures Theory Situational pressures theory is based upon the fact that people’s actions, under pressure of particular situations, do not always match their professed beliefs and attitudes.Discrimination can appear or disappear, depending upon the situation.The gap between belief and action is called the creed/deed discrepancy.Usually, the creed/deed discrepancy occurs when people who profess not to be prejudiced actively discriminate against "outside" groups due to their fear that members of their group will ostracize or otherwise punish them for accepting the "outside" groups.
16 Group Gains TheoryGroup gains theory argues that dominant social groups discriminate against subordinate groups because individual members of the dominant groups enjoy concrete gains as a result.The "white supremacy" tradition in the United States, for instance, remains in force because all white people—rich or poor, social elite or misfits—can use it to their benefit in mean, unjust, but concrete ways.
17 Institutional Structure Theory The white majority in the United States remains dominant.School and workplace desegregation, affirmative action, and an apparent decrease in prejudice among white Americans have not reversed a steady decline in living standards for racial and ethnic minorities such as black Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans.Poverty, poor education, health problems, housing problems, debilitating patterns of crime and incarceration—all continue to plague racial and ethnic minorities.Discrimination is institutionalized, built into the very structure of society through school districts and real estate markets.
18 ExerciseAs a police officer, which theory of discrimination would most likely explain the negative perception often associated between minorities and the police? Justify your response.
19 Differences Between Culture, Ethnicity and Race Culture - the integrated pattern of human behavior includes thoughts, communications, action, beliefs, values, and institutions of an ethnic, religious or social group.Ethnicity - sharing a strong sense of identity with a particular religious, racial, or national groupRace - as a biological concept defines groups of human beings based on a set of genetically transmitted characteristics.
20 Differences Between Culture, Subculture and Counter Culture Cultural Relativity Cultural relativity-the belief that no culture can be judged by the standards of another and that every culture must be approached on its own terms.It is impossible to understand the behavioral patterns of other groups if we analyze the behaviors only in terms of our own cultural motives and values.
21 Differences…(cont.)Culture: Sociology defines culture as the sum total of the learned behavioral traits, values, beliefs, language, laws, and technology characteristic of the members of a particular society.The key word in the definition is learned, which distinguishes culture from behavior that is the result of biological inheritance.
22 Differences….(cont.)Subculture: are groups of people whose values differ from the majority.It is a social group within a group of people who share cultural complexes, but that are smaller than a society.Each subculture is related to the larger culture in the sense accepts many of its norms, but the subculture is also distinguishable because it has some norms of its own.
23 Differences…..(cont.) Counter-Culture: are made up of groups (subcultures) that sharply challenge and reject some of the norms and expectations of the dominant culture.Members of counter-cultures are not isolated from the larger society, for they come into contact with traditional middle-class institutions in many ways.Counter-cultures do not necessarily have a negative impact on the dominant culture; they often instigate social change, and some social change is beneficial.
24 Differences….(cont.)Contra-Culture: A social group that has developed values and modes of behavior that are in conflict with the prevailing culture. (Juvenile gangs, female gangstas, Crips, Bloods, Latin Kings).
25 Law Enforcement Contacts in Cases Which May Involve Hate Crimes Members of hate groups come from all races. The law enforcement officer SHOULD be aware of these groups and their common characteristics.Hate groups characteristically grow in numbers and membership during periods of increased immigration, such as the 1920s.Hate groups arise during periods when disenfranchised groups have attempted to increase their political and economic power, such as Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Movement.
26 Law Enforcement Contacts…(cont.) Hate groups arise during periods of economic instability when people seek scapegoats to blame for unemployment, such as the 1930s and the 1980s.At times, organized hate groups have been powerful forces in American political life; many have sought dominance through violence and intimidation. Others have achieved significant political victories in electoral politics.
27 Law Enforcement Contacts….(cont.) Profile:Ideology: Explicitly racist.Strategy: The more organized, the more sophisticated the group’s approach, e.g., using cable TV Internet and computer bulletin boards.Structure: From 20,000 to 50,000 members.Group Characteristics: From loosely too highly structured international groups.Leaders tend to project a mainstream image rather than an extremist image.Skinheads are usually loosely affiliated with organized hate groups and usually take direction and inspiration from them.Organized hate groups focus on issues of concern to middle America as a way of marketing their hate.Members believe in the inevitability of a global war between the races.
28 Case of James ByrdOn February 23, 1999, white supremacist John William King was convicted of capital murder in the brutal dragging death of James Byrd Jr. on June 7, On the day of June 7, Byrd was walking home from his niece’s bridal shower in Jasper, Texas, as defendants John William King, Shawn Berry, and Lawrence Russell Brewer were out driving. The three were roommates. One of the guys knew Byrd and they agreed to give Byrd a ride. According to one of the defendants, Berry, King objected to giving Byrd a ride, and after picking Byrd up, King told Berry and Brewer that he wanted to scare Byrd. They then beat Byrd unconscious, stripped him, and chained him to their pickup truck, and dragged him two and a half miles along a Jasper County road until his head and right arm were ripped off of his body. The skin from Byrd’s knees, buttocks and elbows also were ripped off down to the bone.
29 Defining Racial Profiling (U.S. Senate) Racial Profiling: The term “racial profiling” means the practice of a law enforcement agent relying, to any degree, on race, ethnicity, or national origin in selecting which individuals to subject to routine investigatory activities, or in deciding upon the scope and substance of law enforcement activity following the initial routine investigatory activity, except that
30 Defining…(cont.)that racial profiling does not include reliance on such criteria in combination with other identifying factors when the law enforcement agent is seeking to apprehend a specific suspect whose race, ethnicity, or national origin is part of the description of the suspect.
31 ACLU’s Driving While Black “On a hot summer afternoon in August 1998, 37-year-old U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Rossano V. Gerald and his young son Gregory drove across the Oklahoma border into a nightmare. A career soldier and a highly decorated veteran of Desert Storm and Operation United Shield in Somalia, SFC Gerald, a black man of Panamanian descent, found that he could not travel more than 30 minutes through the state without being stopped twice: first by the Roland City Police Department, and then by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. During the second stop, which lasted two-and-half hours, the troopers terrorized SFC Gerald's 12-year-old son with a police dog, placed both father and son in a closed car with the air conditioning off and fans blowing hot air, and warned that the dog would attack if they attempted to escape. Halfway through the episode – perhaps realizing the extent of their lawlessness – the troopers shut off the patrol car's video evidence camera.”
32 Strengthening Police-Community Relationships Conference Racial Profiling Conference held in Washington DC (June, 1999)President Clinton called racial profiling a “morally indefensible, deeply corrosive practice”This conference led to the President’s directive to federal agencies to collect data on the race/ethnicity of person stopped
33 Racial Profiling: The Texas Experience Texas Senate Bill 1074:Passed in May, 2001Became effective January 1, 2002Mandates law enforcement agencies to adhere to standards regarding racial profilingIgnores that before it was passed, racial profiling practices were already prohibited
34 Senate Bill 1074 Timeline: January 1, 2002 (SB 1074 becomes effective) March 1, 2003 (First Racial Profiling Reports are Due)March 1, 2004 (Second Year of Reporting for ALL agencies; Tier 2 reporting required from some agencies).
35 Racial ProfilingRacial Profiling is, for the most part, an individual-based problem and NOT an institutional issueRacial Profiling emerges from “social issues” and it will not be solved by “law enforcement agencies”Aggregate data does not reveal if racial profiling practices are in place (or not).
36 Texas Racial Profiling Legal Requirements Clearly defined act of actions that constitute racial profilingStatement indicating prohibition of any peace officer employed by the police department from engaging in racial profilingImplement a process by which an individual may file a complaint regarding racial profiling violationsProvide public education related to the complaint processImplement disciplinary guidelines for officers found in violation of the Texas Racial Profiling Law
37 Requirements…(cont.)6. Collect data (Tier 1) that includes information on Race and ethnicity of individual detained:Indicate whether a search was conductedIf there was a search, whether it was a consent search or a probable cause searchWhether a custody arrest took place7. Produce an annual report on police contacts (Tier 1) and present this to local governing body by March 1 of every year8. Adopt a policy, if video/audio equipment is installed, on standards for reviewing video and audio documentation
38 A Contact DefinedContact: A traffic related contact where a citation was issued.Must be:Traffic relatedCitation issued
39 Searches Must take place after “contact” is made Should be divided into: PC and ConsensualNational Debate on “how” search data should be analyzedSome argue it is impossible to determine bias in searches; others obtain “ratio” of searches by dividing these with contacts
41 Baseline Options:1. U.S. Census Data 2. Fair Roads Standard 3. DPS
42 U.S. Census Data Data is not always accurate Does not measure “driving population”Information is/will be datedDoes not take into account “day” vs. “night” traffic flow issuesDisregards “non-resident” traffic contactsDoes not count “illegal aliens”
43 Fair Roads Standard Based on US Census Data Counts only “households” with access to vehiclesDoes not consider “number” of drivers in a particular residenceOnly considers race/ethnicity of “head of household”
44 DPS (Department of Public Safety) Combines “Hispanics” and “Caucasians”Data can only be obtained by “zip codes”; thus, some limiting cities/counties who “share” zip codes with other jurisdictionsDoes not take into account population who has moved to or away from city/countyAssumes that driving population is the same as the number of individuals who have a driver’s license
45 Tier 2 Data: Only required if agency: Did not apply for video cameras, orDoes not have video cameras in vehicles
46 Tier 2 Data: Requires the collection of “qualitative” data Only manner of measuring data is to transform from a qualitative to a “quantitative” format.Should be considered when vehicle (originally equipped with video camera) becomes disable
50 ExerciseAs chief of police, provide 5 different ways in which you could:Measure “racial profiling” in your police departmentAct in a “pro-active” manner to deter racial profiling incidents from taking placeDeal with a racial profiling problem in your department
51 Defining a GangGangs and ethnicity: In the early part of this century, gang involvement in criminal activity was viewed as a social phenomenon associated with ethnic Americans, most commonly second-generation white immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe and African Americans recently arriving from the south. Gangs: A group of individuals who may or may not claim control over a certain territory; engage either individually or collectively, in violent or other forms of illegal behavior; very fluid in nature.
52 Types of Gangs Three types of gangs: The Social Gang The Delinquent GangThe Violent Gang
53 The Social GangThe Social Gang: is a relatively permanent group that hangs out at a specific location; Members develop a sense of comradeship and often engage in organized group activities.Members include the most stable youths in the neighborhood-those who have the closest association with the norms and values of society in general.
54 The Delinquent GangThe Delinquent Gang: The delinquent gang is a cohesive group organized around principle of monetary gain from delinquent activities.Members depend on one another to carryout planned activities and to provide help if necessary.The leader is usually the most competent at stealing and is an excellent organizer and planner.Members are emotionally stable and able to organize their time and efforts for criminal activity.
55 The Violent GangThe Violent Gang: is organized to obtain emotional gratification that violent activities can bring.Members spend time building arsenals, planning and caring out violent acts.Leaders tend to be emotionally unstable- have a need to control and direct others.Both leaders and followers tend to overestimate the importance size and power of their group.Structure is constantly changing.Allies one day can become enemies the next day. Identified by inner group violence.
56 Gang ProblemsThe challenge of today is how to train officers to be successful models to benefit minority, immigrant, or disadvantaged youth, especially to make the case for law and order and eventually to attract some into law enforcement careers.Perhaps the biggest challenges would appear to be in preventing or counteracting rising youth violence, especially among males between the ages of 12 and 24.This problem is critical in the nation’s inner cities, where unemployed, disadvantaged youths seek identity and support through destructive gang participation.
57 Preventing Crime Among Minorities and Youth Preventing crime among minority and immigrant youth requires interaction of many faces and phases.Cooperation with local clergy, who maintain effective relations with gang members. For example, a coalition of Protestant and Catholic churches have formed a Southern California Organizing Committee, promoting a “Hope in Youth” campaign.Assistance to local ethnic business organizations that wish to work with gangs in the community ventures and job development, as is happening now between the Korean-American Grocers Association, with 3600 members, and two Los Angeles African American gangs, the Bloods and the Crips.Creation of ethnic police benevolent associations to provide role models and programs for the disadvantaged youth of similar cultural heritage who are in gangs or are potential recruits. For instance, a black police group getting involved with young males.
58 ExerciseExplain how your agency can become involved in preventing gang violence? What information would you need in order to approach this initiative with cultural sensitivity in mind?
59 Distinguish the Terms: Middle Eastern, Arab and Muslim It is easy to fall into the habit of using the terms “Middle Eastern,” “Arab, and “Muslim” interchangeably.While there is a lot of overlap among these terms, there are some important differences to keep in mind when you use them.
60 Distinguish the Terms…(cont.) Middle EasternUse this term as you would use "European" or "South American."The "Middle East" is a geographical area made up of sixteen countries located between Europe and East Asia (including, for example, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, Egypt, and Syria).Most Middle Eastern countries are Arabic, but three are not, since they use different languages: Iran, Israel, and Turkey.Israel is the only Middle Eastern country that is not chiefly Muslim. Its population is roughly 80% Jewish.Describing someone as "Middle Eastern," therefore, indicates that they come from a certain part of the world, and suggests that they are probably both Arab and Muslim.Countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and India are not Middle Eastern countries: they are Asian.
61 Distinguish the Terms…(cont.) ArabUse this term as you would use "Native English Speaker."An "Arab" is a person from a country where the Arabic language is spoken.Arabic is written and read differently from English: it has its own set of letters, and is read right-to-left.Because they are made with different letters and sounds, Arabic words and names often cannot be given precise spellings in English.Arabic is the main language of several countries outside the Middle East (including Morocco and Libya, for example).Describing someone as "Arab," indicates that they come from a country that uses Arabic as its main language, and implies that they are probably Middle Eastern and Muslim.
62 Distinguish the Terms (cont.) MuslimUse this term as you would use "Buddhist" or "Christian."IslamA "Muslim" is a person whose religion is Islam.There are more than a billion Muslims, living all over the world.Do not use the term "Mohammedan" – it is offensive because it incorrectly suggests that Muslims worship the prophet Muhammad as a god.Islam contains several different faiths in which there are very different beliefs and practices, so "Muslim" is just as vague a term as "Christian".
63 Distinguish the Terms (cont.) The Nation of IslamDo not confuse Muslims with members of the Nation of Islam, which is a black-empowerment religion that started in Chicago in the 1930s.The Nation of Islam shares some beliefs and practices with Islam.For example, it considers the Koran and the Bible to be holy texts, and uses many of the same religious terms.However, members of the Nation of Islam typically hold beliefs that are radically different from those of Muslims.For example, they emphasize racial identity, whereas Muslims make no racial distinctions.Although the Nation of Islam frequently uses the term “Black Muslim,” Most African-American Muslims are not members of this religion.
64 Common Beliefs of Muslims The "Pillars" of IslamThere are five important guidelines, or "pillars," that form the core of Muslim belief:Believing in Allah (God) and the prophet MuhammadPraying five times each dayGiving almsFasting during RamadanMaking a pilgrimage to Mecca
65 The Pillars of Islam Believing in Allah (God) and the prophet Muhammad "Islam" means "submission" (to God).A Muslim must acknowledge their belief in the single all-powerful god Allah and their belief that Muhammad is Allah's messenger.
66 The Pillars of Islam Praying five times each day The five prayer times are:(1) just before sunrise,(2) at noon,(3) in the middle of the afternoon,(4) at sunset, and(5) in the evening.Although prayers are often conducted in mosques, individualprayer is common, and takes place regardless of most activitiesA Muslim will typically interrupt such things as work, leisure, andtravel for the prayer; and would continue to follow the prayerschedule even while in an unusual place such as an airport, a hospital room, ajail cell, etc.
67 The Pillars of Islam Giving Alms Giving to the needy is an important requirement of Islam.This often involves a poor-tax.Also, some cultures' religious holidays and blessing ceremonies, for example, involve prescribed donations to the poor.
68 The Pillars of Islam Fasting during Ramadan Ramadan is a month of fasting for Muslims.Since the Muslim calendar is lunar (i.e., it uses the phases of the moon to mark time), Ramadan falls on a different set of dates each year.For the entire month, most Muslims do not eat, drink, or smoke during the daylight hours of each day.There are rules, which provide exemptions for the sick, for pregnant women, etc., so that they do not harm themselves by fasting.
69 The Pillars of Islam Making a pilgrimage to Mecca If possible, each Muslim must travel to Mecca once in their life.Mecca is a holy city in Saudi Arabia. It is the birthplace of Muhammad.
70 Particulars of IslamIslam began in the 7th century A.D. when a merchant named Muhammad had a religious vision in which he was instructed to recite the word of God.Islam's holy book, the Koran, is the collection of Muhammad's recitations on topics such as the nature of God, creation, worship, and the afterlife. In fact, "Koran" itself means "recitation."It is important to remember that Muhammad is not worshipped by Muslims: he is regarded as the greatest (and the last) of the world's prophets, among whom are Jesus, Abraham, Moses, and many others.It is often incorrectly assumed that Muslims necessarily have negative feelings about Christians and/or Jews.Despite the fact that political and religious groups have used it against them, Islam teaches tolerance and respect for other religions.
71 Particulars of Islam The Role of Women in Islam Contrary to the belief of many Westerners, Islam does not make women second-class persons.It is true that, in some Middle Eastern and Muslim countries, women are treated harshly or poorly, but this is a consequence of conservative culture and politics, not the rules of Islam per se.
72 Key Issues for Law Enforcement to Consider Women’s ClothingIn some Middle Eastern cultures, women are encouraged (or even required) to keep their bodies covered when they are in public.The traditions of veiling and covering are not required by the Koran per se, but are important to many Muslims – male and female alike.When dealing with Muslim or Middle Eastern women, keep in mind that they may wish to maintain a greater level of modesty and social distance.It may be inappropriate to shake hands with or touch a woman who keeps herself covered.If you encounter a situation where you feel it is necessary for a woman to remove a covering (for safety, identification purposes, etc.), remember that – to her – doing so might be as awkward or inappropriate as a strip search.
73 Key Issues…(cont.) Honor Personal honor plays an important role in Middle Eastern life.The impact of shame and the need for preserving family honor are very strong.Questioning someone with undue suspicion, too bluntly, in public, or in front of their family, for example, may be interpreted as a personal insult that merits evasive language or even the use of half-truths to avoid confrontation.What a Westerner might think of as "lying" could simply be a person's culturally appropriate attempt to restore their lost honor.Patience, respect, encouragement, and privacy are some of the key elements to effective communication with people who have a Middle Eastern background.
74 Key Issues…(cont.) Hospitality Hospitality is a much more important part of social behavior in Middle Eastern cultures than it is in the West.Hosts may feel strongly that they are not only responsible for their guests' comfort, but even their support, defense, and protection.Officers conducting their duties in a Muslim household, for example, might be asked to sit down, or offered coffee and refreshments.Refusing hospitality should be handled very carefully.Think about how you would react to someone's refusal to shake your hand.If they were sick, or had a similar excuse, it might not bother you at all; but for them to ignore you or just stare at your outstretched hand could be very insulting.If you cannot accept an offer of hospitality, decline it with a polite, positive attitude.
75 Key Issues…(cont.) Dietary Rules Like Judaism, Islam has dietary laws that many Muslims follow.They prohibit drinking alcohol, eating pork, and eating meat that has not been prepared properly.The extent to which the rules are followed varies among Muslims, just as it does in other religions.Likewise, how the rules affect a person's social life varies.A Muslim might operate a liquor store, for example, but still consider alcohol personally forbidden.
76 Key Issues…(cont.) Communication When you interact with Muslims and other people from Middle Eastern cultures, use the same caution that you would when dealing with anyone from a different culture.Keep in mind that there are differences in communications styles.Many Middle Eastern people stand very close to a person when speaking with them.Gesturing while speaking is common, and may involve more physical interaction.For example, it is not uncommon for men to touch each other on the arm or leg while talking, hold hands, or even kiss each other on the cheek to say hello or goodbye.This is especially true for friends or business acquaintances.In contrast, some physical gestures which are common and harmless in the West (for example pointing your finger at someone or showing the sole of your shoe when you cross you legs) are offensive to some Middle Eastern persons.
77 Key Issues…(cont.) Mosques and the Koran Remember that mosques are holy places and that the Koran is a holy book.If you are going to enter a mosque, be respectful:Wear modest long-sleeved clothes,Remove your shoes,Avoid walking in front of someone who is praying,Avoid stepping on prayer mats, andKeep your voice and language under control.
78 Key Issues…(cont.) As a holy book, the Koran should also be respected: Handle it with care (as you would handle any religious item),Never place it on the ground, andNever place things on top of it.
79 Key Issues…(cont.)Above all, keep in mind that the vast majority of Muslims practice a peaceful, tolerant religion.Judging them by the words and acts of a few extremists, or by the actions of individual governments and cultures that have unique agendas, is no more valid, for example, than it would be to define Christianity by small cults and hate groups who refer to themselves as "Christians."
80 Gandhi"You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.“- Mohandas Gandhi