Belief Systems in Monolithic Religions

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Judaism's Focus on Behavior

Judaism, unlike Christianity and Islam, focuses less stress on dogma. The Jews are expected to follow norms aimed at regulating human behavior rather than religious beliefs.

Similarities Between Christianity, Islam, and Judaism

Muslims and Christians both believe in all of Judaism's prophets. Muslims believe in all of Christianity's prophets, including Jesus. While Christians see Jesus as a member of the Holy Trinity and a son of the Supreme Being, Muslims classify him alongside the other Jewish prophets. Christians believe in all of Judaism's prophets because the religion evolved from the latter. Christianity is very clear about the afterlife, it indicates that those who lived a good life will go to heaven and stay with God while those who failed to repent for their sin will be punished in hell (Public Broadcasting Service, 2017b). This is similar to Islam's idea of the afterlife where the righteous will go to heaven while the wrongdoers will be condemned in hell. The Jewish belief of the afterlife is not very clear as it relies on the prophetic who only talk about resurrection in the Messianic era.

Misconceptions About Islam

One misconception about Islam in the West is that all Arab are Muslim. This misconception results from the fact that most Arabs speak Arabic, which is their native language. People in the West are likely to associate any Arab-speaking person with Islam. Many people also think that Islam's fundamentals are very different from Christianity and Judaism. They also think that the basics of Islam are oppressive against women. However, interpretation of laws in Islam is subjective (Public Broadcasting Service, 2017a).

Understanding Arab Families

What a School Psychologist Should Know About Arab Families

The psychologist should first understand that the Arab population has different beliefs. Despite these differences, the Arabs have a common language, Arabic. Arab families are patriarchal with the adult male family members responsible for making major decisions such as where to settle. Authority of the family members is based on sex and age. The young are always subordinate to the grown-ups while the males lead the younger females. Islam Arabic families obey Sharia law despite their location. The interpretation of this law is different between families. Women's primary role is to raise the children, educate them and take care of the house. Though Arabic women have taken jobs outside their homes, this does little to affect their roles in caring for the children (Read, 2014). Therefore, the psychologist should prefer contacting the mothers to the fathers. One of the key issues that Arab families face is fitting in the rest of the American society due to stereotypes.


Public Broadcasting Service. (2017a). Religion: Three Religions, One God. Retrieved from

Public Broadcasting Service. (2017b). What are some typical misconceptions and stereotypes Westerners hold about Islam and the Middle East, and vice versa? Retrieved from

Read, J. N. G. (2014). Gender, religious identity, and civic engagement among Arab Muslims in the United States. Sociology of Religion, 76(1), 30-48.

April 19, 2023




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