Building Understanding

ISPU research explores the Muslim experience within America’s diverse faith landscape and amplifies the voices and contributions of American Muslims. Our findings inform and expand conversations with evidence and expert analysis. The goal: fostering an understanding of American Muslims rooted in facts, not fear.

Roughly half of Americans do not know a Muslim personally. So, much of what they know comes from media, where 80% of coverage about Muslims and Islam is negative. In 2019, Muslims (62%) were the most likely American faith group to report experiencing religious discrimination. ISPU’s research examines the structural barriers that exclude American Muslims and prevent them from full and equal participation in American society. Our findings explore common challenges, identify solutions, and provide policymakers, media professionals, nonprofit leaders, educators, and the general public with an accurate and nuanced understanding of American Muslims and the issues that impact them.

American Muslim Opinions + Demographics

All four ISPU poll reports (2016–2019) laid out on a table

ISPU’s American Muslim Poll captures the attitudes and opinions of individuals from a variety of faith and non-faith groups on topics such as religion, politics, and civic engagement. Published annually since 2016, our American Muslim Polls provide data-driven analysis for a multi-dimensional understanding of Muslims in America, as well as the public’s opinion on issues impacting American Muslims.

In 2018, ISPU and Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative began tracking a tool called the Islamophobia Index, which measures public endorsement of anti-Muslim sentiment and plots various faith and non-faith groups along a 1–100 additive scale.

The Golden Gate Bridge covered in fog

This benchmark study, the first of its kind on the Bay Area’s Muslim community, provides groundbreaking data on its demographics, sense of identity, economic well-being, political and civic engagement, and challenges.

All four ISPU poll reports (2016–2019) laid out on a table

ISPU’s American Muslim Poll captures the attitudes and opinions of individuals from a variety of faith and non-faith groups on topics such as religion, politics, and civic engagement. Published annually since 2016, our American Muslim Polls provide data-driven analysis for a multi-dimensional understanding of Muslims in America, as well as the public’s opinion on issues impacting American Muslims.

In 2018, ISPU and Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative began tracking a tool called the Islamophobia Index, which measures public endorsement of anti-Muslim sentiment and plots various faith and non-faith groups along a 1–100 additive scale.

The Golden Gate Bridge covered in fog

This benchmark study, the first of its kind on the Bay Area’s Muslim community, provides groundbreaking data on its demographics, sense of identity, economic well-being, political and civic engagement, and challenges.

Barriers to Equality

A graphic of a man split in half: on the left, he has brown skin and a red background; on the right, he has white skin and a blue background

This study compares U.S. media coverage, law enforcement tactics, charges, and eventual sentencing when the perpetrator of an act of ideologically motivated violence is perceived to be Muslim vs. not perceived to be Muslim.

A young boy at a rally carries a sign that says "we have different religions, but we are still friends"

This study examines the impact of Islamophobia on the wider public, offering historical context and modern-day best practices to meet this challenge.

map of the u.s.

This data visualization maps legislative efforts across all 50 U.S. states to restrict rights for a variety of marginalized communities. Our data shows the same legal efforts that target Muslims also often support laws that disproportionately harm other marginalized groups.

American Muslim Contributions

A collage of three Muslim faces

This study quantifies the contributions of Muslims living in New York City and the state of Michigan in eight areas, including civics, medicine, sports, and the arts. Explore portraits, videos, vignettes, and data sets highlighting the achievements and impact of the many Muslims who contribute to the well-being of all Americans.

A woman wearing a white hijab at the voting booth

In the midst of a polarized and heated 2016 election season in which Muslims were frequent subjects of national debate, this study set out to discover what American Muslims wanted for themselves and recommended pathways for greater civic engagement.

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