Islamophobia? Video Game Study Suggests “Turban Effect”

Do turban-wearers provoke subconscious prejudice against Muslims?

As reported by the Victoria Times-Colonist, a study conducted at the University of New South Wales in Australia suggests that Muslim-style turban are perceived as menacing. Researchers there are calling this the "turban effect". The results of the study will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. From the Times-Colonist article:

Research volunteers played a computer game that showed apartment balconies on which different figures appeared, some wearing Muslim-style turbans or hijabs and others bare-headed. They were told to shoot at the targets carrying guns and spare those who were unarmed, with points awarded accordingly.


People were much more likely to shoot Muslim-looking characters – men or women – even if they were carrying an innocent item instead of a weapon, the researchers found

At this point, it’s unknown what game software was used for the study. Mohamed Elmasry, head of the Canadian Islamic Congress, commented on the results:

I’m hoping that Canadian Muslims one day become invisible. As such, Canadians will treat them like any others… [The research] does confirm our biggest fear that there is discrimination and prejudice within our society, and unfortunately people don’t recognize it or don’t admit it. Sometimes they really don’t know that it does exist.

Via: Discrimination and National Security Initiative Blog

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  1. oto kirlama says:

    I’m all for freedom of ttnet vitamin speech and allowing rent a car game makers to put whatever they want in games, but there’s one thing about this app that has me scratching my head.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but from araç kiralama the previous article araba kiralama on this I gathered that players can use Google maps in-game to find the other (real-life?) dealers in their area.  If this is the case, has travesti anyone considered what’s stopping someone from using this app to actually move drugs between hands for reals?

    But majority araba kiralama of their outrage araç kiralama stems from what it could DO TO children, not the content itself.  Talk to one of these people and you’ll find they don’t think any books kiralık araba should be banned from children.  Mention American Psycho and they talk about kiralık araç the redeeming value of using imagination to construct a story.  Reading, no matter what the content, is largely viewed as a consequenceless activity for people of any age.  The reason why I mention American Psycho is because of the content itself.  Gaming never has and likely never will have any scenes where someone has sex with a severed head.  Not gonna happen.  Yet despite this, they’ll fight tooth and nail to protect their children from two boys kissing in Bully but whatever they read is harmless… yeah.

    The entire arguement is kiralık oto based upon a social normality inflicted by luddites who can’t figure out the controls for Halo so it’s frightening and terrifying and obviously the cause of youth violence on the rise even though, in reality, it’s in decline (which is actually a HUGE suprise given minibüs kiralama the economies status).  In  a perfect world, we would have parents that actually parent.  The idea of sales restrictions on media on oto kiralama any form to accomidate parental unwillingness to get involved with their child’s life is the real problem to me.  Here I am, 32 years old, and being held up at a self-scan rent a car needing to show ID before I can buy a $10 M rated game all because Soccer Momthra can’t be bothered to look at the crap Billy Genericallystupidson does in his free time.  It’s too hard for her, so I have to suffer?

  2. Sledge says:

    You should read Derrida, too. He says justice is "the demand of the other." The other being, the socially excluded, the exploited, whatever. Read Deconstrution and the Possibilty of Justice if you get a chance.

  3. Sledge says:

    1) Free speech comes with responsibilty. Hate speech doesn’t contribute in any meaningful way to society except to reinforce the ethinic and raical preferences of the society/state.

    3) I assure you, when Western states stop trying to impose "democracy" and free trade on Arab nations, Islam will produce far less terrorist groups. The Middle East has long been denied its rights to self-determination.

    4) There is no such thing as reverse racism. As a white American, my financial and social priviledge is hinged on centuries of colonization, slavery, genocide, third-world underdevelopment, and now neo-imperialism of the type of forced free-trade I mentioned earlier. Therefore, to attack a white person for his bigotry (a bigotry which in essence attempts to defend this priviledge and the status quo) is not the same as saying historically oppressed Muslims are terrorists. Not every stereoype is equal: some are used to reinforce power (of say, white people, or American power overseas) while some are used to counteract it (by, say, pointed out where racism exists and how it is used to justify exploitation and priveldge. In other words, x does not equal y. A simple algebra class can teach you that, as well as any meaningful examination of you and your relationship to racism.

  4. Austin_Lewis says:

    Much of the stigma of Muslims as brutal and barbaric comes from the fact that in the 1600’s and on, they fell behind the rest of the world as far as sciences went.  Now, many arab nations are moving into the same century as the rest of us are on, at least as far as science, and the idea that they’re brutal and barbaric is more being shifted towards Africa, which is, other than big cities, filled with the most brutal and barbaric people on Earth (and if you think that’s racist, go there and tell me how many hours it was before you broke down and bought an AK to protect yourself when you went out to a restaraunt). 


    As for Northern Ireland, that was not about yesterday.  It was about both yesterday and the present, and the lack of a future for many Irish Catholics.  When Black and tans and british made life unbearable for the Irish Catholics, they fought back, and good for them. 


  5. Austin_Lewis says:

    Most of the militant atheists tend to be those idiots you see on youtube screaming about how we’re keepin them down, how we’re dumb, and how they have all the answers.  They’re not gonna do anything with a gun, because most of them are too dumb to get one to function.  If you got some intelligent militant atheists, then I’d be a little more scared.

    Not to say atheists aren’t intelligent, but the militant ones, like any group, tend to be the dumbest of the group.

  6. JustChris says:

    There are groups denouncing terrorism, but the news doesn’t given them the public eye. "Average people" are not newsworthy because we enounter them every day. A considerable amount of Americans hover more towards Centrist or moderate values, but the news likes to only show the extreme right or left. But I think that by the mere fact of average opinions not being the norm in the media, average people might actually be the attention-grabbing rebels if you throw them in an ocean of freaks and extremes.

  7. Saladin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Makes perfect sense to me. Sounds like I’ll be reading up on Robert Heinlein later.

  8. GryphonOsiris says:

    Partially comes from reading too much Robert Heinlein, he was really big on the idea of social responsibility and that the ones in power so be more focused on the people as a whole and where they are going, rather than their own petty greed, small mindedness or egos.

  9. Shih Tzu says:

    I do find it amusing that so many Christian fundamentalists in the U.S. have major freakouts about fundamentalist Muslims.  You’d think that if they just sat down and talked to each other, they’d realize how much they had in common!

  10. Sai says:

    I wonder then how people will react to the new Prince of Persia game. He’s got a pretty kickass turban on.

  11. Flynn says:

    Okay, as a Canadian myself I feel compelled to reply the the asshat-ery of  Keith K‘s comment.
    Firstly, I would like to say (because I feel strongly about it, not because I have stats to back it up) that for the most part Canadians are far more accepting than most. I realize that is a generalization, but in my experience living in other countries, it’s true.
    Secondly, the turban, Hajab, and other garments can be worn out of tradition or religious devotion- and I’m not going to tell anyone they can’t express both of those things (I’m typing this wearing a kilt 😉 ). K, stop being an overly patriotic ass, I’m not sure what part of Canada you’re from, but where I grew up a turban wasn’t enough to "threaten the rules of our society" and my Muslim friends never tried to change our social interaction, let alone how the country worked. National pride is one thing- speaking of which, Happy Canada Day- but blind "our way is the right way ’cause it’s our country" patriotism only breads xenophobic / Zionist thinking. And this world really doesn’t need any more "us vs. them".

    As for the article, it would like to know what kind of game it was. Screenshots please.
    If it was an urban shooter like Splinter Cell, or a war based simulation like AA, CS-S, or CoD (or some mod) then I can see why these results came about. In ‘Anti-terrorist’ or ‘war’ games you usually end up fighting whomever the public is scared of right now. It used to be Nazi’s, commies, or Vietnamese, now it’s Jihadists. So it would make sense that as soon as you see someone sporting traditional Muslim clothing, that you pop a few rounds off- what’s the worst that’s going to happen, lose a few points at the end of the level ranking? Better than restarting a level.
    I think we need more information about the game and the test before this can be considered valid.

    Black Vatican Comic. Updating 7 days a week!

  12. Mutantemeco says:

    While I play games like Gun or Read Dead Revolver I get hot mowing down good ol’ boys wearing cowboy hats! I mean I was in heaven for the first few missions of Vice City Stories!

  13. Dark Sovereign says:

    A few notes:

    1) The Canadian Islamic Council can complain about Islamophobia when they stop accusing people of thought crime (see the McCleans [sp?] trial).

    2) The hijab is heavily associated with Arabs, but the turban is associated with Janes.

    3) Islam seems to produce more terrorist groups with alarming frequency. I assure you, when the Arab states stop trying to impose Sharia, people will be far more open.

    4) DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DECRY STEREOTYPING WHEN YOU END YOUR POST WITH A STEREOTYPE. Just because a stereotype is "accepted" in the "civilized" world, doesn’t make it any less damaging. White Southerners are stereotyped just as badly as any race, ethnic, or religious group. Does the stereotype become OK just because you believe it?

  14. Shih Tzu says:

    Not to mention famous Iranian-American actor Jake Gyllenhaal as the titular Prince in the upcoming film.

  15. Ace says:

    Islamaphobia is one prejudice I can almost sympathize with. A fear of Islam, even an irrational one, is a healthy fear.

    Though once Islam undergoes it’s own modern Reformation I wager the rampant Islamaphobia will die down. Hell, Islam’s going to be the largest religion on the planet in a few generations, so it won’t even matter if it doesn’t die down.

  16. Dark Sovereign says:

    Who said they were apologizing? If you don’t want people to see your group in a bad light, then ensure that the rest of the group denounces the bad activities of the offending faction. If bad activities are the only representation that a group gets, then public opinion of that group will shift accordingly. It’s basic PR.

    Name the last serious terrorist effort that the white supremecist terrorist cells have been engaged in. Numerous cells isn’t always an indication of strength. It can indicate fracturing.

  17. Mike ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yes, physical features, such as skin color, are still going to be nearly as damning as clothing and accessories, whether you’re in Canada, the U.S. or anywhere else. As an Asian-American, I don’t get the same treatment as other minorities, but there are differences no matter how I’m dressed.

    All I’m saying it’s a bit much to get so damnably worried because people dress differently. In New York, I barely noticed the guy down the street who wears Christmas lights and a bathrobe and lives in a VW bus.  Anything can become a part of the background if you’re not actively worrying at every inch and portion of society you feel doesn’t conform to the notion of being "normal". Dashikis, yarmulkes, kimonos, etc. won’t make me think these any less of people because they refuse to wear a button-down oxford shirt and some khakis like the trashed frat boys in Hoboken. I understand that people are afraid, and it doesn’t help that images of constant violence from the Middle-East inundates us online and on TV, but it still behooves us not to judge people on skin color or adornments…rather the content of their character.

    BTW, when a young, white male produced the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil PRIOR to the two World Trade Center attacks was captured, tried and executed, did we start balking at ever white man with close-cropped hair and white t-shirt? I refuse to live in fear of everything.

  18. Saladin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I can identify with the problems of todays Muslim, I mean, I AM one. My cousin recently tried to take an airplane out for a business trip. He was then taken to a room by security, and asked questions for 3-4 hours. To their credit, the return trip required minimal fuss, but that’s gotta be annoying all the same.

    I just want to say to my felloe Arabs out there, that wearing our traditional clothing is always gonna make us stick out. In today’s post 9/11 world, that’s the way it is. I’m not exactly thrilled with the many xenophobic idiots out there that rationalize their own inherent fears with flawed logic, but I can at least understand why a few of them are like that.

    In closing, I just want to emphasize that it’s going to be years before we really start getting looked at like everyone else. I just want my fellow Muslims to hang in there.


  19. Dark Sovereign says:

    I’ll try to find the sura, but I remember something about non-believers being in the same category.

  20. Dark Sovereign says:

    Was the young, white male part of a terror cell using scripture to justify his murders? No. Was the young, white male from a group known for America hating and Jew killing? No. Once again, not all Muslims are terrorists, but too many terrorists are Muslims.

    I, personally, will treat somebody differently based on what they’re wearing depending on how obvious they are about the fact that they’re wearing it. I can’t stand the phony "individualists". Nor can I tolerate the people urging _____ unity and talking about how horrible America is to them. I am a firm believer in the if you think it’s better elsewhere, then leave or shut up and the don’t complain if you won’t do anything about it doctrines.

  21. BlackIce says:

    The Islamic Duty to cure disease does not appear to extend to some members of our society. Namely dog owners.. Wankers.

    ~You Could Be Mine, But You’re Way Out Of Line..~

  22. Dark Sovereign says:

    The xenophobic idiots also don’t like to see their friends die. There is a reason that Islamophobia has spread. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but far too many terrorists are Muslims.

  23. T5 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    lol defensive are we? I was saying this to illustrate the very point that you are making and that I was surprised that there has not been more christian bashing in this thread as there so often is here at GP.  I assure you we are on the same page. 

  24. BlackIce says:

    Which worries me greatly. Why are there no Militant Atheists? We COULD use some.

    ~You Could Be Mine, But You’re Way Out Of Line..~

  25. BlackIce says:

    You have to ask yourself though, is it fear or hate? I mean no disrespect to Saladin or his Religion, but there are some things in Sharia that I would rather die fighting than live following. And to see people preaching that any other way of thinking is evil starts a fire somewhere inside.

    ~You Could Be Mine, But You’re Way Out Of Line..~

  26. Dark Sovereign says:

    1) There is a line where "speaking out" ends and "complaining" begins. Join a group working on the problem, write a letter to your Congressman, send money to someone, anything, just don’t sit there and yell about the evils of America.

    2) I’m not particulalry worried about people who want to hang on to their past heritage. I don’t like people shoving their past heritage in the face of others. Which is what "how obvious they are that they’re wearing it" refers to. I was actually thinking more of the daishiki than the keffiyeh. I don’t treat people differently based on the cultural garb they choose.

    3) There is a HUGE difference. Al Qaida uses religion to justify their killings, and their death-to-America- death-to-Israel sentiments are shared by many in the Islamic world.

    4) You do not have to be white to be a white supremecist. An African or Chinese person can feel that white people are the superior race. It’s far from common, but it’s possible. Islam seems to be producing the bulk of the terrorists nowadays.  White supremecists can be terrorists too, but white supremecists aren’t common, and white supremecist terrorists are even harder to find.

    Mainstream Islam may not support terrorism, but it isn’t showing it. We need more Muslim groups denouncing terrorism. We need more clerics denouncing Al Qaida. We need more Muslims to throw off the yolk of the Sharia state. We need less in the way of Islamists getting those critical of Islam fined or surpressed. If the Muslims want to end "Islamophobia", they aren’t showing it. Instead, more and more Muslim groups give people reasons to hate them and the religion they claim to represent. Once again, people are fined for being critical of Islam in Europe, and the "Canadian Human Rights Tribunals" came very close to censoring a magazine for printing an article critical of Islam. This does not reflect kindly on the groups pressing such charges, nor does it reflect kindly on the religion these groups are supposed to represent.

  27. Paul Farinelli says:

    Jeez, all of the comments here akin to "Oh, I can definitely understand Islamophobia" are disgusting. I’d rant about why that’s so, but I feel that to any logical person it’s pretty self evident.

  28. Mike says:

    Isn’t speaking out a part of doing something about it? I love my country. We can air our viewpoints, and we can disagree without the opposition party kicking us out of the process or murdering us with military might.  I just think it’s just a tough time for Muslim Americans and Canadians who love their homes too, but don’t want to forget their past heritage.

    What does "how obvious they are about the fact that they’re wearing it" even mean? Is it if they look you directly in the eye and burn an Israeli flag while wearing a kaffiyeh? Is it dressing in a hijab and spitting on a war vet? Will you treat them differently if they’re in a supermarket buying some orange juice while wearing a turban of some sort?

    Oh, and to clarify…Timothy McVeigh was clearly anti-government, so a politically motivated terrorist attack that kills 168, 19 of them children, is still a terrorist attack. He used the Turner Diaries and twisted the Constitution to justify mass murder, even if he didn’t use scripture.

    Not every white person is a white supremacist, but every white supremacist, by definition, has to be white I suppose. Still, I won’t hold Hitler or Nathan Bedford Forrest against every white guy with odd facial hair.

  29. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Not buying it. I shatter Nazi pixels all the time, yet I have nothing against Germans. I shatter Islamic terrorist pixels all the time, and yet I have no problem with Muslims.

    -If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we’d all be livin’ large. For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block & Crain(2007)Grand Theft Childhood, by Harvard Medical School researchers Larry Kutner and Cheryl Olson

  30. Dark Sovereign says:

    There are. They tend to be more along the lines of the "solitary school shooter" than actual organized groups. They usually get caught though. Commonly make "hit lists" composed of known Christians. Plus, Communism would be a form of governmental atheism, widely known for killing believers.

  31. Paul Farinelli says:

    Since when do Muslims who aren’t terrorists have to apologize for anything? They aren’t the ones out there killing others for a cause derived from a perverted version of Islam. They don’t have to prove anything to anyone. And there have been many more white supremacist terror cells than you seem to think. But anyway I guess I’m done arguing about this, it’s leading no where.

  32. Dark Sovereign says:

    A lot, if not most or all, of the "-phobias" invented by the left are attempts at portraying hatred as fear. Often, it’s argued that they are one and the same. However, fear is a type of hatred, but not all hatred is fear. I hate Sharia. I do not fear it. I hate the Islamic groups who attempt to surpress free speech (see European hate speech fines and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunals) but I do not fear them. Organized Muslim groups give many reasons to both hate and fear Islam.

    It’s basically the same as "homophobia". People who speak up against gay marriage are by no means fearful of gay people, but they are labeled as such.

  33. Dark Sovereign says:

    How so? Or are you another atheist whose going to attempt to accuse the Bible of being a hate book without knowing anything about Jesus’s teachings?

  34. Saladin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    They are plenty of things that I don’t agree with regarding my religion and it’s teachings. There are things that simply don’t apply this day in age. I doubt I’m the only muslim that doesn’t follow the Quran to the letter. I can understand why anyone that looks at a Quran at length can be shocked, scared, afraid. However, it’s unfair to judge most of today’s Muslims based on that. All I’m asking is that people keep that in mind. I’m not asking for change here.

    Many Muslims back home simply haven’t changed and have no desire to. There are some that have. Most simply want to be left alone. An invasion that killed alot of innocent Muslim people as well as terrorists have insured that most muslims are more concerned with surviving and hope to be away from any suicide bombers. To ask muslims to stand up and denounce the terrorists at this point wouldn’t really provide any results. It’s hard for me to "pick" one view or another considering I no longer live in the Middle East. When it comes to my home, news coverage is usually about tragedy and it’s all pretty much a disaster. I’d like to at least TRY to be neutral.

    Ultimately, I believe that a majority of the muslims in the world are viewed with more suspicion or fear than others. Yes, I know why. But it still sucks.

  35. Saladin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I would in fact, appreciate more of my fellow Muslims stepping up to the plate and denouncing terrorism. The problem is, after Iraq, the average Arab wants to be left the hell alone, or are too disgruntled with the U.S. government to want to work together with them to get larger scale results.

    Maybe the case is most of my people simply don’t feel the need to justify themselves for the actions of others. Of course, I’m just throwing out guesses here. I’m ONE Muslim typing on the GP boards, I hardly speak out for everyone. Regardless of my opinion, it’s just that. One single opinion.

  36. GryphonOsiris says:
    I think that part of it is that there is a stigma that has lingered since the Crusades about Muslims as being brutal, barbaric, backwards and violent. Mind you, this hasn’t been helped by the European colonial periods during the 1600’s-1900’s, or even early Hollywood with films of ‘heroic’ Anglo’s fighting ‘barbaric’ Muslim nomads. Much of these influences have given the Occidental observer the impression that the whole region consists of mud-brick abodes, nomads, camels, and samshir wielding sheiks.
    However, there is something that can also be said about those regions too, because they have done relatively little to dissuade this belief. There is an old saying I recall, originally used for the Northern Ireland conflict, but fitting here; "In these countries there is no tomorrow, only yesterday." That is to say that they don’t think about the future, only the wrongs that have been committed against them. Persia, Iran, Iraq, and Egypt used to be centers of learning, science, philosophy, enlightenment, mathematics and progressive ideas. However they stalled around the 12th-13th century and as Europe entered it’s ‘Rebirth’ the once great centers of learning in Eurasia started to wither. It’s rather sad really. Could you imagine what they could have been if they stayed the path of knowledge?
    BTW, Saladin, I know I’ve said this before, but I gotta say it again: Majorly.Kick.Ass.Name.


  37. Anonymous says:

     Bullshit. School shooters aren’t militant atheists. They are mentally disturbed individuals. And many actually have religous motivations (e.g. oxnard shooter). And one or two disturbed individuals does not constitute a non- existant group ”commonly” doing something. Communism is not a ”form of governmmental atheism” no matter how much the religous right may like to think so. Atheism has no ”form” it is literally the absence of form or organization. Communist supression of ”believers was merely a paranoid, totalitarian system cracking down what it saw as potentially ideologically incompatiable , supposedly subversive group.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Not being combative but:

    1) I volunteer for campaigns and donate money to campaigns and organizations all the time. But I have to communicate my own thoughts and opinions, not just assume my elected officials or non-profs are going to do it for me. It never seems to be complaining when some elements of the population complain about too much welfare, or too much political correctness or too many protections for minorities…it’s only the other side of those issues that must hate their countries for critiquing those things their countries have instituted like welfare, political correctness or protections for minorities.

    2) I’m still unclear on what constitutes having a culture or trait forced down one’s throat? Is a pride in your ethnicity parade too much? Or is it too much to have their children wear traditional garb to school? This is not being sarcastic…I just don’t know when being different constitutes being deliberately offensive.

    3) Islam, the Consitution, Jesus, or Marxism…killings in the name of of these ideals are superficially different from each other. Using myopic, one-dimensional ideals such as anti-government militia ideals or Irish Catholic Nationalist ideals or anti-Israel/anti-American ideals to justify mass murder are just roses by different names. Don’t make Timothy McVeigh out to be anything other than belonging to the pantheon of killers we’ve named Bin Laden or Ramzi Yousef. I call shenanigans on that.

    4) Let me be more accurate then to better reflect the statement about not all Muslims being terrorists but too many terrorists being Muslims…not all whites are white supremacists, but most white supremacists are white except I guess for some allegorical Chinese or African individual whose names escape us I suppose. While there are a LOT more Islamic terrorists today (and many more since the invasion of Iraq), it’s certainly not out of style in the U.S. to be a member of a racist hate group. 37 active white supremacist groups I found in a cursory online search. Almost 80 in just the state of California according to the Souther Poverty Law Center. 888 hate groups (including black separatists) throughout the U.S. as of 2006. A number of them are designated terrorist organizations by the U.S. such as the KKK or the Aryan Nations. And while their teeth have been pulled thanks to vigilant law enforcement and civic activity, they still fester. Just because it seems to be more chic to blow things up in the name of Islam than it is to blow things up in the name of racial superiority, doesn’t somehow render one evil better than the other. It just means there’s less of a degree.

    I can see the point of view where some people are uncomfortable with cultures entering their nice, conformist worldview who don’t exactly conform right away, but I have seen nothing on this forum to say that a person has to conform in the ways of a superficial dress code or some vague mannerism of deference to those who consider themselves "native" to their homelands in terms of a moral or ethical imperative. Rather, these differences smooth out with time, and were it not for the current difficulties in the Middle East, we would not be finding so much emphasis placed on those peoples who simply wish to make a life for themselves and for their families like so many other immigrant groups before them.

  39. Saladin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Thanks brutha. I’ve got a lot of respect for your opinions and views, so I appreciate it.

  40. Sledge says:

    I don’t really understand if you’re kidding or not, but

    1) Israel isn’t occupied; rather, it’s doing the occupying (read: the occupied territories, aka Palestine, or specifically the West Bank, as well as the Golan Heights and territory bordering with Lebbanon)

    2) Engrained racism is different than "pop-culture" racism perhaps, but that doesn’t make it more legitmate or less dangerous. Besides, our entire society is engrained with racism, and it expresses itself it more or less subtle or explicit ways. The fear of turbans plays on an antiquated fear of the other, now exacerbated in increasing geoplitical tensions and insecurities of America’s standing in the world. Expect to see a rise in anti-Chinese propaganda in coming years (maybe even internment camps in the event of conflict, brings back memories of Japanese treatment)

  41. jonwanker says:

    Who cares if one if someone decides to dress differently? It would be like saying "hating on Nuns is okay because they’re calling attention to themselves". I don’t hate Nuns, do you? All that’s happening here is that people hate it when their normative standrads are challenged.

    You talk about wearing metal shirts and jeans, well for a long time (still goes on even today) metalheads have been stigmatised in many ways too for listening to the ‘devil’s music’. Punks still get grief from cops etc.  No one bothers to understand the rich and vibrant subculture that is metal, or the history of Punk — they just see ‘angry teenage rebellion’ (of course no sane adult would listen to metal, right?). In fact, most people probably wouldn’t be able to tell Punk from Metal from Grunge from freakin’ Linkin Park.

    Our biases should not be embraced, but challenged. We claim to be a society that respects and values individualism, but it seems like we’re all encouraged to be ‘individuals’ in the same ways. If it is an individual’s choice that they style themselves a certain way, then fine — more power to them if it challenges the norm and our preconcieved standards of ‘normalcy’.

  42. Austin_Lewis says:

    Amen.  Honestly, what the fuck is with everyone jumping on Texas like it’s the most racist place on Earth?  You wanna see racism, go to Michigan, go to Missouri, and go to cities like New Orleans. 

  43. lumi says:

    The "looks like home" notion was based on civil engineering details.  Layout, flora, architecture.  When I visit Florida, it looks different.  The parts of Texas didn’t.

    I wouldn’t classify my family out there as xenophobes.  Frighteningly religious white middle class Bible-thumpers?  Definitely.  But they’re good people, and they used to live in New York for ~20 years.

    They’re in The Woodlands now.

    Comments I overheard that affected my impression of the native population included derogatory slurs about non-Caucasions (specifically blacks and latinos), praise for the president’s recent courses of action (this was about 3 years ago, and yes, I’m serious), and a veritably flood of casual conversation consisting of "patriotic" speech, extolling the perfect of the United States in generic, ignorant terms that reveal a relative lack of true understanding of the topic they were attempting to discuss (the virtues of America on the world stage).

    I love my country and I would rather live here than anywhere else, but you have to be delusional to not realize that we have a lot of shortcomings of our own.

  44. lumi says:

    Matter of fact, I have, and have both family and an ex-girlfriend there (whom I am still on very good terms with, and who lived there while we were dating).

    I probably wouldn’t have bothered mentioning the Lone Star state if I hadn’t read this earlier today:,0,6571056.story

    But as it’s not related to video games, I didn’t see the point in bringing it up.

    Bottom line, between all the places I’ve lived (which includes states above and below the M-D Line), I’ve seen more xenophobic tendencies out of Texans than any other part of the country I’ve been exposed to.


  45. BlackIce says:

    I can tell you there is still hope for you.

    ~You Could Be Mine, But You’re Way Out Of Line..~

  46. Dark Sovereign says:

    Depends on where you’re at, really. Xenophobia in South Texas would be understandable, given that the drug dealers and illegal immigrant types frequently stir up trouble there (i.e. blowing away law enforcement). The larger cities have huge immigrant populations, so the tendency towards xenophobia is far less; Houston and Austin are the best examples. The Mexican communities never were particularly welcoming to any non-Latin. Small town communities are so tightly knit that any outsider is considered a "threat". Finally, Texas tends towards fierce independence, which many out-of-staters don’t seem to understand. What I usually see in the way of "xenophobia" is the self-fulfilling prophecy kind, where somebody comes in with the idea that Texas is full of xenophobes, and finds them everywhere.

    I’ve talked to many who moved here from elsewhere, and the story was almost always the same: they didn’t feel like they belonged here at first, but they became avowed Texans after living here for a while.

  47. lumi says:

    Huh.  Ironically, that wasn’t my experience at all, and the family I mentioned lives in Houston, and the girlfriend lives in Austin (well, suburbs thereof in both cases).

    I didn’t have any expectations going in; my first thought upon arrival was "hey, this place looks just like home".  Until I started talking to people.

  48. Dark Sovereign says:

    I live in one of Houston’s suburbs. I’m shocked that a family of xenophobes could stand to live here. "Diversity" is practically our motto.

    The "Hey, this place looks just like home" might be an example of a deeply held belief. I would doubt it, though. And what did these people say, exactly?

    EDIT: Which Houston suburb, if you don’t mind me asking?

  49. jonwanker says:

    Why? There’s no law requiring cyclists to wear a helmet, only motorcyclists — and I’ve never seen a ‘turban’ wearing motorcyclist.

    The RCMP officers (there was more than one) who petitioned to be allowed to wear his turban was a Sikh, not a Muslim. Besides, as long as it does not interfer with them performing their duties as RCMP officers, who cares?

    Last time I checked, shorts were for your legs, and t-shirts were for your torso — the hijab goes on your head. I guess you support a ban on Kippahs as well? Besides, what is the issue with one wearing a hijab voluntarily as an expression of their religious faith? It would be akin to banning testaments and prayer beads. Also, I wasn’t aware there was a rule against it in ANY schoolboard (maybe in Quebec?)

    So it looks like you’re only 1 for 3 on this whole ‘rule breaking’ thing. Maybe you should consider a head covering of some sort — your racism is showing.




  50. Keith K says:

    Well when the muslim population in Canada blends into Canadian society, they will become invisible. Unfortunately they spend their time trying to change Canadian society to suit their needs, fueling the fires of prejudice and highlighting their conspicuousness within the population.

    Riding a bicycle/motorcycle means you wear a helmet, NOT a turban!

    Being a police officer means you wear the uniform cap, NOT a turban!

    Attending public school means you wear shorts and a t shirt in gym class, NOT hijab!

    When turbans themselves stop threatening the rules in our society, we can stop feeling angst toward the people wearing them.

  51. JustChris says:

    Yeah, and when I encounter people that started to hate Muslims because of this, I would like to say "You started hating after 9/11, didn’t you? Noob racist!!! I was hating on them since their occupation on Israel!!" 😀

    Seriously, "born again" racists are probably worse than those that have slowly developed their racism over a considerably longer time- their impulsive personality shows through and indicates that they are still very easily manipulated, no matter at what point they are in life.

  52. KayleL says:

    I blame the twin towers attack, American media, and the Iraq/Afghanistan war for this. I don’t think it has to do anything with video games, and lucky, it doesn’t seem like this study suggests that.

  53. janarius says:

    I agree, I think they’re using video games as an alternative method in measuring racial bias following 9/11. However, i’m not sure if some of the commentators noticed. But the study is done in Australia and just some guy from the Canadian Islamic Congress made some comments on it. As for whether the methodology is good or bad, well we’ll have to ask the experts and not ourselves. Unless anyone know better, I’m open to suggestions.

  54. lumi says:

    Come on, now…comparing genetic features to cultural garb is a specious argument at best.  The Japanese did not choose to "look Japanese"; in fact, most prisoners of Manzanar and similar camps dressed just like the rest of the American population, worked the same jobs, and did, in fact, speak the same language (in addition to their own, of course).

    Is an arab going to be able to change his skin tone?  Of course not, but he can choose to dress in the same manner as the native population of the country in which he is living.  When in Rome, as they say.

    I’m not saying that they need to abandon their culture, but 1) cultures adapt, especially when relocated to a new country and attempting to integrate into a new culture, and 2) if they want to "become invisible", as the claim is here, then they simply do need to accept that Canadian culture is not Arabic culture.  They’re free to continue practicing their own ways, but if part of those ways is outwardly visible, people are going to notice, and it is going to identify them as such.

    I can tell you from a great deal of personal experience and empirical evidence from associates of mine, an arab in an Iron Maiden t-shirt and jeans DOES blend in almost seamlessly in many places (say, places that are not Texas, for example).  An arab in traditional Muslim garb, on the other hand, is going to stick out in this country (or Canada) like a sore thumb, and inherently draw attention to the fact that they choose to dress that way instead of adopting the cultural fashion of their surroundings.

  55. Mike ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Um…whoa? It’s the fault of the Muslim population in Canada for not looking like everyone else?  Right…if the Japanese-Americans during World War II could only have just stopped looking Japanese, maybe they wouldn’t have been thrown into internment camps. Or if the Irish and Italians could have stopped pushing their Catholocism down the throats of the average American Protestant they would have been given jobs.

    I don’t think brown people dressing in an Iron Maiden tee and a baring their head with a mullet will ever make pre-disposed, anti-immigrant/racist individuals stop being suspicious in any case. If more people were exactly alike, I suppose we’d make up a difference to hate. Also, if would be unbelievably boring.

  56. Anonymous says:

    Now, I think that they shouldn’t have checked just Islamic esqe character but check other factors (such as skin tone) as well.

  57. Anonymous says:

    well at the very least this is more valid then some other studys…


    Not saying a lot.

  58. Brokenscope says:

    Personally I think the methodology used to test for bias in these studies is bullshit.

    They are testing for patterns using a method that creates them.

    Not to say that bais doesn’t exsist.

  59. Deadman Reaper says:

    It is a shame but honestly it is expected as of late (since 9/11) there has been a large increase of terroist attacks around the world within england, france and the US people are worried about being attacked and the unforunate part is almost all these attacks are traced to alquieda and they are a muslim group. It is horrible that a small (reltevly speaking) group ruins everyones lives people have to worry about being attacked for no reason and same with being discriminated against.

  60. Mike ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    These kinds of studies were done years ago on how Americans react to images of a black male in drawings shown at a rapid clip. Many would identify the black male as the one holding the gun (despite him carrying something innocuous).  It’s true that many of us carry stereotypes and deep-seeded prejudices, but it’s what one does to overcome such obstacles that should define the individual.

    Just to be fair, Al Quaeda isn’t all comprised of Arabic muslims, as many ethnic groups have come to identify with the organization and its platforms. It’s just that many Westerners have trouble telling these groups apart, or what their clothing/appearance even means. For instance, the pundit Michelle Malkin making a big hubbub over an alleged kaffiyeh being worn by Rachel Ray in a Dunkin Donuts ad. It was just a scarf, but Malkin created an uproar from the fringe Right that somehow this supported Islamic terrorism.

    Blueberry Cake = Islamo-fundamentalist violence.

  61. Anonymous says:

    And I’m sure Jews in the 1930’s and 40’s weren’t exactly running out and hugging White military personel in Mercedes trucks.

  62. Brokenscope says:

    While I agree that there is islamophobia in the west(I live with a huge one) I take issue with the games used in these types of bias studies.

    In my experience (Limited) they usually punish you for taking too long, they do not attempt to maintain even lighting or conditions when choosing the pictures used, hell half the time they use lowres stock photos. In some cases the weapon is distinct in other cases it is not. Some subjects will appear to be threatening while others while others will have neutral body language. There are also other things like reusing an image of a gunman, but replacing the pistol with a coke or some other benign object. They also will reuse and image more than once. When you see the same image of a man with a gun 4 times you develop a pattern, when they show him a 5th time with a coffee shooped over his gun your going to shoot, not because of any specific features, but because you already associated the image with a gun. They also never seem to account for patterns that develop in the pseudo randomness, or even in their planned ordering.

    I’m only commenting in genreal about this type of study, as the article doesn’t actually outline the system used.


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