In this series of op-ed pieces for the Washington Post, the subject of “othering” is discussed and dissected. Social scientists define the concept as the process in which any group of people (a race or religious group) is characterized as outside of the mainstream which results in systemic prejudice. The outlier group is judged and treated unfairly based on negative stereotypes. Enter Islam in America.
As journalist Robert Gebelhoff says in the piece, “Ahmed Mohamed’s story became the latest moment in a contentious discussion about racism and the “othering” of Islam. The viral movement to support the teen — with the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed — highlighted the growing frustration with stereotypes connected to Muslims.”