ISPU 15-Year Anniversary Logo
15 Years of Research Making an Impact

2017 marks ISPU’s 15th anniversary. 15 years of groundbreaking research. 15 years of educating the general public and raising awareness. 15 years of enabling community and religious leaders, policy makers, journalists and nonprofit partners in their own work. 15 years of collaborative partnerships. 15 years of research making an impact. Our journey to becoming America’s go-to source for data for and about American Muslims has been a long one, and you—our loyal supporters—have supported us at every step along the way. We look forward to celebrating these first 15 years with you throughout 2017.

15 Years of Impact
An open book


A report with a pie graph and a line graph


A collection of 3 reports


Click here to learn more about ISPU’s impact.

15 Moments from Our First 15 Years

1. Detroit Mosque Study

In April 2004, we published our first report, the Detroit Mosque Study. This study gave a statistical overview of Detroit mosques and their attendees, and sought to “sift rumor from reality in regards to American mosques.” According to report author Dr. Ihsan Bagby, this report’s significance was in the way it began a conversation about American mosques and their leadership. He felt that an evidence-based discussion was key to a greater understanding of the Muslim community generally and a necessary step in improving their standing in the society at large.

For ISPU, this study held deep significance. Less than three years after the organization’s founding, the Detroit Mosque Study was ISPU’s first published contribution to a much-needed discussion about American Muslims. Even now, after 15 years and more than 150 reports and policy briefs, ISPU always remembers fondly its first success at educating the public and countering fear with facts.

Detroit Mosque Study report cover

2. American Muslim Poll 2016

A group of presenters reveal the results of ISPU's first nationwide survey: American Muslim Poll 2016

What are the attitudes, practices, and experiences of American Muslims? We sought to uncover the answers to these questions in our first nationwide survey: the American Muslim Poll. In March 2016, our poll results revealed the opinions of various faith groups on topics such as religion, politics, violence, identity, and so much more. Our goal: to insert Muslim voices into discussions about Islam that tended to neglect their perspectives, offering a badly needed, evidence-based contribution to an often misinformed discussion. What emerged was the profile of a Muslim community that was both pious and patriotic, optimistic and weary of discrimination, similar to Jews in its politics, and much like Protestants in its religious practice.

Throughout 2016, the poll’s research findings were cited in at least 60 different news publications, including a CBS News special. It underpinned efforts to combat bullying in schools, trained educators and law enforcement, and informed governmental agencies and White House officials. It also enabled educators like Prof. Todd Green, who said: “I refer to ISPU’s American Muslim poll when I give public talks on Islamophobia. It helps to nuance the picture of American Muslims and to challenge unfair stereotypes concerning Islam’s compatibility with the U.S.”

3. Marriage and Divorce Study

ISPU Scholar and report author Amal Killawi holding up a marriage and divorce report in front of a group of Muslim women

In June 2014, we published our Promoting Healthy Marriages & Preventing Divorce report. At the time, American divorce rates in the U.S. were decreasing since reaching a peak in the 1980s. However, in the Muslim community, rates were on the rise. Community leaders across the country expressed concern about marital discord and divorce rates in the American Muslim community, yet there was limited research on this issue and little in the way of resources for practitioners, religious leaders, and members of the community offering support to families facing challenging times. To help address the need and improve marriage outcomes in the American Muslim community, we embarked on an ambitious exploratory study.

The study provided an understanding of the ways in which American Muslims perceive and utilize marriage education and marital interventions. Researchers conducted individual interviews with imams, counselors, divorcees and married individuals to determine the use of and feasibility of marital interventions in the American Muslim community. Amal Killawi, the author of the report, says this much-needed research filled a gap: “The Marriage and Divorce Study shed light on the challenges experienced by Muslims in marriage, and it sparked a nationwide conversation about the need in our communities for both marriage preparation and support for struggling marriages.”

Stay tuned to read about more ISPU moments.

quote marks

Thank you for sharing your important work! With increased awareness about your solid data driven research, media outlets will seek out your scholars for the real deal instead of relying on pundits to paint a story.


–Aliya Poshni, Donor

What do American Muslims think? How do they feel? How do they act in many circumstances? What are the challenges that are facing our communities? These are some of the most pressing questions that we don’t have answers to except when ISPU starts to come in.


–Alejandro Beutel, ISPU Scholar

I think if I had to describe ISPU in one word, I would use two words: game changer in that it’s providing data and much-needed information that is credible about what Muslims are about. . . . There is nobody else in the country I know doing it.


–Dean Obeidallah, Columnist and Host of The Dean Obeidallah Show

ISPU . . . is really the culmination of a vision of how Muslim Americans can have a seat at the table in clarifying and correcting and even shaping the narrative about Muslim Americans.


–Saeed Khan, ISPU Scholar & Co-founder

ISPU is ammunition in this campaign to deal with misinformation, misunderstanding, and a poverty of relationships. Because for some people they need more than just a picture, they need more than just my saying something—they need data.


–Steve Spreitzer, Michigan Roundtable for Diversity

ISPU . . . is a tremendous resource for not only the American Muslim community but the entire American community. . . . It gives a voice to a community that sometimes has other people speaking for it, for better or worse.


–Moheeb Murray, ISPU Board Member

In this current era, I believe that ISPU is essential. And it is essential because the American Muslim community needs data in order to help organize our community in an efficient way.


–Dawud Walid, CAIR-MI

How Can You Contribute?

$146,266 of our $640,000 goal

A thermometer 21% full

23% funded by 175 generous donors

In 2017, we hope to raise $640,000 from individual donors like you. Join the legacy and donate today!

Your support will empower American Muslims to
Develop, Contribute, and Innovate.

Donate today. Share our work with your friends. Attend our research sharing events. Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Best of all sign up to become a sustainer by donating monthly or yearly. By supporting our work, you are making a difference; you are helping to create a world you want to see. And we thank you.