During research and interviews I conducted for my book, these were the top 11 generalizations the Midwest Americans had about Bahraini Arabs. They are discussed and rebutted at length in the book.
1. Islam is a radical and backward religion.
2. Islam is a violent religion that preaches death. Suicide bombers are told they are serving a greater good and will be rewarded with a place in heaven for they and their family. To Americans, it seems obvious that Islam promotes violence.
3. Women who veil themselves are forced to and are oppressed. And those who completely veil themselves are scary looking.
4. The Arabs hate Americans, but they sure want an American education.
5. Bahraini Muslim women are not treated equally as Muslim men, and do not have the same rights, particularly in the workplace and court system.
6. Americans prefer to focus on the future, whereas Muslims seem to live in the past.
7. All Arabs who live in oil-producing countries are rich.
8. Arab Muslims hate the Israelis.
9. Before 9/11, the Middle East seemed to be in another time. We never saw anything but camels and desert. After 9/11, 19 terrorist faces were transferred to the entire Arab world.
10. Arabs as a whole are judged as terrorists and radicals because this is what everybody is watching in the news.
11. Muslims think Americans are not tolerant of them and their culture, particularly post 9/11.