Children, Adolescents, and Islamophobia
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Islamophobia is a fear of or prejudice towards Muslims which can affect both the adult and pediatric population. Exposure to racial discrimination or other forms of overt or covert prejudice during the stages of racial identity formation could lead to the development of Islamophobia in children and adolescents. Historical and current events in which Muslims are portrayed in a negative way in the media may also play an important role in the etiology of Islamophobia in this population. Exposure to Islamophobic elements may affect the process of identity formation in Muslim children and adolescents, leading to poor self-esteem and possibly mental health conditions later in life. Muslim children and adolescents are also at a greater risk of being victims of bullying and acts of aggression. These individuals may also develop impaired relationship with parents, peers, and society in general. Parents and clinicians have a significant role in helping these individuals. It is important to have regular and open communication with children and adolescents about this important subject. Patient care plans must include the immediate family, school, and neighborhood as well as the larger society in which the child exists. At a societal level, various educational and policy-related strategies can play a role in the prevention and management of the contextual effects of Islamophobia.
KeywordsIslamophobia Racial identity formation Prejudice Religious discrimination
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