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Reporters and photographers arrived at a Los Angeles park early. A football tournament was about to begin. But it wasn’t the outcome of the game that the journalists were concerned about. Rather, the game was unique as the teams were primarily made up of Muslim American men. Furthermore, it was the names of the teams that were drawing a majority of the attention. While names like “Muslim Football All-Stars” and “Playmakerz” did not evoke any questions or concerns, others such as “Intifada,” “Mujahedeen,” and “Soldiers of Allah” created quite a stir. These names were accompanied by logos including a masked man firing a slingshot and a horse-borne figure in flowing robes, carrying a weapon on his shoulder. Many members of the local Orange County community argued that the names and logos of the teams were offensive (Neiman, 2004). However, the participants stated that their team names and emblems were meant for entertainment only. Why did so many people get angry about this incident? At the 2005 Scottish Cup, fans of the Scottish soccer club, the Rangers (who are largely Protestant) jeered during a moment of silence meant to commemorate the death of Pope John Paul II. As a result, the tribute was cut short. The Celtics, the Ranger’s rivals, have predominantly Catholic fans who expressed their disappointment and anger over the incident. Again, why did some people get angry? Do we pay too much attention to symbols? Does this mean our anger is a product of pure imagination? Indeed, a burning flag for some people is an act of disgrace; for others it is just a piece of cloth on fire. It is appropriate to call somebody “white” in America but “whitee” would be offensive to some. An extended middle finger is an obscene C H A P T E R 10 Social Perception and Social Cognition Freedom and slavery are mental states. MOHANDAS GANDHI (1869–1948)— INDIAN SPIRITUAL LEADER Don’t find fault in what you don’t understand. FRENCH PROVERB 255 ISBN 0-558-46774-1 Cross-Cultural Psychology:…