Muslims for American Progress

An accurate public understanding of Americans who are Muslims has never been more important.

As Thomas Jefferson teaches, an educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.

The majority of Americans do not know a Muslim.

Today, issues surrounding American Muslims are central in our political discourse, policy debates and popular culture. Yet most Americans say they don’t know a Muslim and, according to media content analysis, more than 80% of media coverage of Islam and Muslims in the United States is negative. This opens the door for a narrow media image to distort public perceptions of this diverse community.

Educating the Public as a Civic Duty

If  “an educated citizenry” is vital to the health of our democracy, then providing accurate information on Muslim Americans is a civic duty. Our Muslims for American Progress (MAP) project aims to do just that.

Report Now Available

  • To fill the widespread gaps in knowledge about Muslim American citizens, including their positive effect on the country, the Muslims for American Progress project quantified the contributions of Muslim Americans in the state of Michigan. We did so by analyzing contributions across eight key areas:...

The Muslims for American Progress Project

The Muslims for American Progress (MAP) Project educates the public by providing a much-needed, evidence-based portrait of a deeply misunderstood community. The MAP project quantifies the contributions of American Muslims in the state of Michigan in eight areas:

ISPU will quantify the contributions of American Muslims in the state of Michigan in eight areas:

  • Civics and Democracy
  • Economic Development
  • Medicine
  • STEM
  • Philanthropy and Nonprofits
  • Arts and Entertainment
  • Sports
  • Education

Click here for the methodology and references used to determine the figures in this video.

To quantify these areas of contribution The MAP project “counts and profiles”: Our researchers quantify American Muslim contributions with hard facts, while profiling individuals of distinction to showcase the community’s diversity while giving it a human face.

Please read more about our methodology here.

To view the full project, please visit the MAP website:

Meet the Research Team

Dalia Mogahed

Program Director, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

Dalia Mogahed is the Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, where she leads the organization’s pioneering research and thought leadership programs on American Muslims. Mogahed is former Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, where she led the analysis of surveys of Muslim communities worldwide. With John L. Esposito, she coauthored the book Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think. President Barack Obama appointed Mogahed to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in 2009. She was invited to testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations about U.S. engagement with Muslim communities, and she provided significant contributions to the Homeland Security Advisory Council’s Countering Violent Extremism Working Group recommendations. She is a frequent expert commentator in global media outlets and international forums. She is also the CEO of Mogahed Consulting.

Sarrah Buageila

Sarrah Buageila

Project Manager, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

Sarrah Buageila is the Project Manager for ISPU’s Research Department. Sarrah spent eleven years at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan where she has worked as an Interviewer, Research Assistant, and Project Manager within the Project Design and Management Group. She primarily worked on the National Survey of Family Growth, a study of the National Center for Health Statistics. Sarrah has co-authored papers for the International Field Directors and Technologies Conference and the American Association for Public Opinion Research Conference. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and has completed Graduate work towards a Masters of Liberal Arts in American Studies.

Rebecca Karam

Rebecca Karam

Primary Investigator & Report Author

Rebecca Karam is a doctoral candidate in sociology and student fellow in the Advanced Research Collaborative at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City. She received her BA in sociology from University of Michigan-Dearborn. Her research is situated at the intersection of the sociology of religion, international migration, and race and ethnic studies. She is particularly interested in American Islam and generational differences in immigrant religious communities.

Rebecca is currently working on her dissertation. Using qualitative methods, she is conducting a study investigating the identity politics of American-born Muslim adults in Metropolitan Detroit in order to generate a deeper understanding of religiosity, institutional affiliation, and the role of community among American Muslims across generations. Her most recent publication addresses post-9/11 backlash facing Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Muslim Americans in New York City and the use of coalition-building and resource mobilization formulated in response to such hostility.

Hazel Gomez

Hazel Gomez

Research Assistant

Hazel Gómez graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a Bachelors degree in Forensic Science. Currently, she is studying the Islamic sciences with’s Ribaat Academic Program under the tutelage of Shaykha Tamara Gray. Hazel dedicates her time as a volunteer and advisor to various nonprofits ranging from community development and convert care to anti-racism work within the Muslim community.

Previously, Hazel spent time as a community organizer with the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) in Chicago focusing on the intersection of immigration and criminal justice reform. She also worked as the lead research assistant at the Alternative Education Research Institute focusing on the analysis of the criminal justice systems, reentry programs, and conversion to Islam of certain Latin American countries. She is also an avid reader of all things Muslims in America, and is interested in the research and creation of an authentic Latino Muslim experience. Hazel intends to pursue a Master’s degree in Islamic Chaplaincy.

Aisha A. Arshad

Aisha A. Arshad

Research Assistant

Aisha A. Arshad is a Master’s degree candidate in Islamic Studies at Islamic Online University. Most recently, she served as the Head of their national student committee for women in the UAE, where she resided for several years before returning to the United States.

Aisha previously worked as an IT and educational technology professional in various capacities both in the corporate sector and in education, in the United States and abroad.  She attained her undergraduate degree in Information Systems from Virginia Commonwealth University and her M.S. in Educational Technology from the Keller Graduate School of Management at DeVry University.

Kristin Waterbury

Kristin Waterbury

Research Assistant

Kristin Waterbury is a Research Assistant for the MAP Project. She received her undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of Michigan-Dearborn where she used quantitative and qualitative methods to study the Muslim community and other minority groups in the Metro-Detroit area. Kristin has a background in event planning and development work. She has previously worked with ISPU as the Development and Events Assistant, where she was responsible for donor stewardship, coordinating and executing several ISPU events. Kristin intends to pursue a master’s degree in Public Policy.

Hassan Jibril

Data Analyst

Hassan Jibril is a Data Analyst at ISPU for the Muslims for American Progress and American Muslim Poll projects. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from the University of Michigan. Hassan has also previously worked for ISPU as a Research and Development Intern and as a Research Assistant where he created the visualization for the Islamophobia 2050 project, analyzed ISPU digital communications and performed demographic research among other tasks. Hassan also spends time as a youth mentor in his local community and volunteers for various nonprofits.