Our Impact

At ISPU, we take our tagline of Research Making an Impact seriously. We rigorously and meticulously count and log the ways in which our work makes a difference, furthering well-informed dialogue and decision-making. Here is a sampling of stories, data, quotes, and event summaries that illustrate some of that impact across the country.

A cub scout raises his hand to say the pledge

Cub Scouts Lead the Way

An astonishing 42% of American Muslim families reported in 2017 that at least one of their children had been bullied in the past year because of their religion. One quarter of the bullies in these incidents were teachers or school administrators. 

These statistics horrified Reverend Nathan Walker, a minister, First Amendment educator, and dedicated follower of ISPU’s work. This data, discovered by ISPU’s 2017 American Muslim Poll, inspired him to take action. 

He called his colleague Dr. Kate E. Soules, a fellow at The Foundation for Religious Literacy, and asked her to join him in developing a new program for the Boy Scouts of America Greater New York Councils (GNYC). Read more→

A mother and daughter reading the Quran

A Mother’s Dream

Saba Maroof is a busy mom of four and a child and adolescent psychiatrist. 

“I want a bright future for each of my children. I want to see them thrive. I want them to wake up excited every day and get ready for school, just like millions of other American kids. I want their teachers and classmates to support and understand them. I want them to know that they can be anything they want to be,” Saba says. “I know that the dreams I have for my own children are reflective of the dreams that every mother has. And yet, I have seen the impact of Islamophobia, religious-based bullying, and ignorance in general on my family, community, and patients.”

Saba says this is why she and her husband have supported ISPU as donors since its inception. Read more→

Former Congressman Keith Ellison

A Congressman Stands Up

For former Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN), ISPU research is an invaluable resource. For him, “ISPU produces information, poll data, and studies that allow me to propose policy that’s based on fact.” 

In 2016, we released our American Muslim Poll, which examined the attitudes of Muslims, Jews, Protestants, and Catholics on topics ranging from politics and religion to violence and identity. For Congressman Ellison, our poll results offered something vitally necessary. 

The “poll is incredibly helpful. I’ve referenced it a number of times in Congress, especially to show that mosque attendance is associated with civic engagement and not with radicalization. Some of my colleagues found this to be surprising, but I said ‘here’s the data.’” Read more→

A cub scout raises his hand to say the pledge

Cub Scouts Lead the Way

An astonishing 42% of American Muslim families reported in 2017 that at least one of their children had been bullied in the past year because of their religion. One quarter of the bullies in these incidents were teachers or school administrators. 

These statistics horrified Reverend Nathan Walker, a minister, First Amendment educator, and dedicated follower of ISPU’s work. This data, discovered by ISPU’s 2017 American Muslim Poll, inspired him to take action. Read more→

A mother and daughter reading the Quran

A Mother’s Dream

Saba Maroof is a busy mom of four and a child and adolescent psychiatrist. 

“I want a bright future for each of my children. I want to see them thrive. I want them to wake up excited every day and get ready for school, just like millions of other American kids. I want their teachers and classmates to support and understand them. I want them to know that they can be anything they want to be,” Saba says. “I know that the dreams I have for my own children are reflective of the dreams that every mother has.” Read more→

Former Congressman Keith Ellison

A Congressman Stands Up

For former Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN), ISPU research is an invaluable resource. For him, “ISPU produces information, poll data, and studies that allow me to propose policy that’s based on fact.” 

In 2016, we released our American Muslim Poll, which examined the attitudes of Muslims, Jews, Protestants, and Catholics on topics ranging from politics and religion to violence and identity. For Congressman Ellison, our poll results offered something vitally necessary. Read more→

Imam Hassan Selim

“ISPU’s hard facts were what I truly needed to present to my audience as we discussed Black History Month. I could see the faces of my panelists and audience brighten with surprise and amazement that there could be such well done research on a matter of interest for Muslims in America. I am not surprised, as I always use your data and research and find them so instrumental, enlightening, and invaluable.”

IMAM HASSAN SELIM, Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids

Mohamed Shukri

“ISPU’s work is a lifesaver. I use ISPU’s stats and data to educate a whole host of groups. Even when I meet groups skeptical of the challenges facing Muslims, ISPU’s data usually wins the day.”

MOHAMED SHUKRI, Daban Consulting

Rep Andy Levin

“The rigorous research of organizations like ISPU provides the knowledge we need to act more intelligently, effectively, and, in the end, compassionately on behalf of all Americans. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to be part of the most diverse Congress in the history of the United States and how grateful I am to get to partner with ISPU to do the work of the American people.”

CONGRESSMAN ANDY LEVIN (MI-09)

Sarah Harvard

“ISPU research does a remarkable job in covering areas that are often overlooked in dialogue about the community. . . . ISPU is single-handedly the only solid resource for journalists covering Islam and the American Muslim community.”

SARAH HARVARD, Journalist

In 2019 . . .

A small group watches an ISPU presentation

21,346

people came to an ISPU event, where they learned facts about American Muslims and the issues that impact them.

A grand mosque with a large blue dome

1,789

institutions—including schools, mosques, media outlets, and more—benefited from workshops infused with ISPU research.

A girl in hijab typing on a laptop

35,800+

people connected with ISPU online through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and our monthly email newsletters.

The Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

2,712

national, state, and local policymakers and community leaders received ISPU’s vital resources and information.

A journalist holds a notebook, a recorder, and two microphones

680

pieces of media cited our research, reaching millions of eyes.

An ISPU report

3,435

reports were downloaded from our website, covering topics from bullying and aging to civic engagement and Islamophobia.

Sadia Khan (far right) with the UC Berkeley MSA Political Action Committee

A Student’s Compelling Testimony

We know anecdotally that Muslim college students suffer from Islamophobia, but there was room to learn much more. So, ISPU partnered with MSA West to survey over 500 Muslim college students across California, gaining important insights on the well-being of a vulnerable and under-researched population. What we discovered is already making an impact.

Sadia Khan is a legal studies major at UC Berkeley and a member of her campus’ MSA Political Action Committee.In 2019, she testified on a panel at a California State Assembly hearing on campus climate. During her testimony, Sadia shared with  assembly members data from our report on how many Muslim students reported facing religious discrimination on campus… Read more→

A panel sitting on stage that include Kevin Singer, co-founder of Neighborly Faith, and Petra Alsoofy, ISPU's Outreach & Partnerships Manager

Evangelicals Learn to Love Their Muslim Neighbors

Kevin Singer, co-founder and director of Neighborly Faith, says ISPU is a vital partner in the work to bring Christians and Muslims together across America. “We use [ISPU research] all the time to make a case for loving our Muslim neighbors as they really are, not who we think they are.” 

ISPU joined Neighborly Faith for several events at Christian colleges in 2019, including a two-day conference at Wheaton College where Evangelical students gathered from across the country to learn how to build meaningful relationships with their Muslim neighbors. 

“It is vital that we reach young Evangelicals and help them better understand who American Muslims really are,” Kevin says. Read more→

A teacher instructing her students on how to do something on a tablet

A Teacher Passes on the Facts

Teachers do so much more than teach math and language arts. Educators teach the next generation how to work together with empathy and mutual respect. 

That’s why at ISPU, we use our research to create trainings for educators across the country. Empowered with the right data, ISPU-trained teachers help foster a safe learning environment for all of their students, especially those who happen to be Muslim.

Sara Sisco, a teacher at Potter’s House High School in Kent County, participated in our June training in Grand Rapids, Michigan and was immediately moved to integrate what she learned into her curriculum. Read more→

An elderly African American man holds his “I voted” sticker after he cast his ballot

Muslims on the Frontlines of Civic Engagement

In 2016, our American Muslim Poll discovered that only 60% of American Muslims were registered to vote— that’s significantly less than any other American faith community. 

Syed Ashraf and Mohib Ullah have been on the frontlines of the grassroots effort to change this statistic for years. Both are co-chairs of the ADAMS Civic Engagement (ACE) committee at the ADAMS Center mosque in Sterling, Virginia. 

The ACE team found out early on that presenting their ideas for increased civic engagement to their community was difficult without documented evidence. In Mohib’s words, the data from ISPU’s American Muslims and the 2016 Elections report “gave us a voice that validated our statements.” Read more→

Sadia Khan (far right) with the UC Berkeley MSA Political Action Committee

A Student’s Compelling Testimony

We know anecdotally that Muslim college students suffer from Islamophobia, but there was room to learn much more. So, ISPU partnered with MSA West to survey over 500 Muslim college students across California, gaining important insights on the well-being of a vulnerable and under-researched population. What we discovered is already making an impact.

Sadia Khan is a legal studies major at UC Berkeley and a member of her campus’ MSA Political Action Committee. Read more→

A panel sitting on stage that include Kevin Singer, co-founder of Neighborly Faith, and Petra Alsoofy, ISPU's Outreach & Partnerships Manager

Evangelicals Learn to Love Their Muslim Neighbors

Kevin Singer, co-founder and director of Neighborly Faith, says ISPU is a vital partner in the work to bring Christians and Muslims together across America. “We use [ISPU research] all the time to make a case for loving our Muslim neighbors as they really are, not who we think they are.” 

ISPU joined Neighborly Faith for several events at Christian colleges in 2019, including a two-day conference at Wheaton College… Read more→

A teacher instructing her students on how to do something on a tablet

A Teacher Passes on the Facts

Teachers do so much more than teach math and language arts. Educators teach the next generation how to work together with empathy and mutual respect. 

That’s why at ISPU, we use our research to create trainings for educators across the country. Empowered with the right data, ISPU-trained teachers help foster a safe learning environment for all of their students, especially those who happen to be Muslim. Sara Sisco, a teacher at Potter’s House High School in Kent County,Read more→

An elderly African American man holds his “I voted” sticker after he cast his ballot

Muslims on the Frontlines of Civic Engagement

In 2016, our American Muslim Poll discovered that only 60% of American Muslims were registered to vote— that’s significantly less than any other American faith community. 

Syed Ashraf and Mohib Ullah have been on the frontlines of the grassroots effort to change this statistic for years. Both are co-chairs of the ADAMS Civic Engagement (ACE) committee at the ADAMS Center mosque in Sterling, Virginia. Read more→

Since 2002, ISPU has produced…

1,052

TOTAL PUBLICATIONS

169

REPORTS + POLICY BRIEFS

828

ARTICLES + OP-EDS

“I emphasize activism vs. passivity in my teaching and ISPU’s data on the challenges American Muslims face in their public religiosity serves as a wake-up call to my students. I wish our community had had access to this quality of information years ago!”

ZAYNAB ANSARI, Faculty and Female Resident Scholar at Tayseer Seminary

Dean Obeidallah

“I use ISPU research to reinforce my arguments, inform my rebuttals and to prove the absurdity of a world that far too often relies on fear and misunderstanding.”

DEAN OBEIDALLAH, Host of The Dean Obeidallah Show

“ISPU’s Islamophobia work is powerful. I use it all the time in my work organizing for social justice. Since hearing about the research, that showed the intersectionality between anti-Muslim bigotry and other types of bigotry, we have conducted more than 50 trainings to coalition build. And it works!”

MANZOOR CHEEMA, Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia

Imam Hassan Selim

An Imam Embraces Inclusivity

Imam Hassan Selim has led the Islamic Center for Cedar Rapids for more than four years. Like many in his position, he is tasked with forming a more inclusive mosque, one that can assist an always changing and diverse community in often challenging times. 

One recurring obstacle was the lack of real-life examples of mosques that had overcome these same challenges. Imam Selim learned of ISPU, and our Reimagining Muslim Spaces (RMS) project, while attending a conference where our research was being presented by Executive Director Meira Neggaz.

According to Selim, “I was familiar with ISPU’s work, but had no idea how well it would fit the challenges I was facing until I heard ISPU’s presentation….” Read more→

Photo by Braden Kopf

Liz Kineke

A Journalist Is Inspired

The Muslim Ban. Christ Church. State level anti-Muslim legislation. Reporting on American Muslim communities and the issues that impact them has never been more challenging.

That’s why our workshops for media professionals are so important. They give journalists like Liz Kineke access to the facts, helping her cover American Muslims fairly and creatively.

ISPU “planted a seed about the need for better representation of Black Muslims—women in particular—in the media,” Liz says. “The choice I made to feature a young, Black woman came out of [ISPU’s training for journalists]. The seminar helped me see my gaps and blind spots in reporting on Muslims in America.”

Courtroom sketch of a Muslim man on trial

He Needed Proof—ISPU Had It

Abed Ayoub, National Legal & Policy Director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, needed proof. Proof that Muslim-perceived perpetrators accused of ideologically motivated violence were receiving harsher treatment from the legal system.

“We would have cases like the one in the ISPU report come in and often couldn’t work on them. We would refer them out because our defense team and board didn’t think it was a priority and told us to work on Muslim ban or immigration issues…. We had no documented proof that these cases getting much harsher sentencing was a systematic problem and couldn’t convince the community we needed to target resources to it.”

Enter ISPU’s 2018 report Equal Treatment?. Read more→

Imam Hassan Selim

An Imam Embraces Inclusivity

Imam Hassan Selim has led the Islamic Center for Cedar Rapids for more than four years. Like many in his position, he is tasked with forming a more inclusive mosque, one that can assist an always changing and diverse community in often challenging times. 

One recurring obstacle was the lack of real-life examples of mosques that had overcome these same challenges. Imam Selim learned of ISPU, and our Reimagining Muslim Spaces (RMS) project, while attending a conference where our research was being presented by Executive Director Meira Neggaz. Read more→

Photo by Braden Kopf

Liz Kineke

A Journalist Is Inspired

The Muslim Ban. Christ Church. State level anti-Muslim legislation. Reporting on American Muslim communities and the issues that impact them has never been more challenging.

That’s why our workshops for media professionals are so important. They give journalists like Liz Kineke access to the facts, helping her cover American Muslims fairly and creatively.

ISPU “planted a seed about the need for better representation of Black Muslims—women in particular—in the media,” Liz says. “The choice I made to feature a young, Black woman came out of [ISPU’s training for journalists]. The seminar helped me see my gaps and blind spots in reporting on Muslims in America.”

Courtroom sketch of a Muslim man on trial

He Needed Proof—ISPU Had It

Abed Ayoub, National Legal & Policy Director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, needed proof. Proof that Muslim-perceived perpetrators accused of ideologically motivated violence were receiving harsher treatment from the legal system.

“We would have cases like the one in the ISPU report come in and often couldn’t work on them. We would refer them out because our defense team and board didn’t think it was a priority…” Read more→

Year in Review

Here are some of the events and highlights from a busy 2019.

Dalia Mogahed and Kumar Rao in front of Kamala Harris's office

JANUARY 2019

ISPU met with Congressman André Carson and a senior staffer from Senator Kamala Harris’s office. We shared our research on disparities in legal and media treatment of ideologically motivated violence depending on the identity of the perpetrator ahead of hearings on white supremacy.

A crowd watching a presentation in the cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC

FEBRUARY 27, 2019

A crowd of 60 joined us at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City for a celebration of Black Muslim contributions. Elisabeth Becker, the principal investigator of our Muslims for American Progress (MAP) project, presented data about the Muslims of New York. Then speakers Hisham Tawfiq and Nicole Najmah Abraham spoke about their personal experiences in New York City.

Dalia Mogahed on MSNBC's AM Joy

MARCH 16, 2019

After the massacre targeting Muslims in New Zealand, ISPU Director of Research Dalia Mogahed appeared on MSNBC. She talked about ISPU research that shows how Islamophobia is linked to public support for violence, anti-semitism, and anti-Black racism.

Journalist's training

MARCH 18, 2019

ISPU hosted a training for media professionals in Chicago. Participants represented a variety of outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, ProPublica Illinois, and WBEZ Chicago public radio, and some even traveled from Wisconsin and Indiana to attend. ISPU experts explored shariah, revealed the diversity of Muslims in America, and shared how to more accurately cover ideologically motivated violence and Muslim women.

John Esposito speaking at our American Muslim Poll 2019 poll launch

MAY 1, 2019

ISPU’s fourth annual American Muslim Poll was released to the public. This year’s survey revealed trends in Muslim voting, the prevalence of sexual abuse in American faith groups, factors that predict and prevent Islamophobia, and much more.

Beyond the Ban panel

JUNE 26, 2019

ISPU co-hosted an event marking the one year anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to uphold the Muslim Ban. Panelists from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative, Advocates for Youth, Center on Conscience and War, and Justice for Muslims Collective explored the history and impact of structural Islamophobia.

ISPU's first cohort of Educators gathered around a conference table for their training

JULY 13, 2019

ISPU welcomed our inaugural cohort of ISPU Educators for an all-day training in D.C. ISPU Educators are official representatives of ISPU, trained and equipped to share groundbreaking research on American Muslims and the issues that impact them with their local and regional communities.

Teachers looking at a Muslims for American Progress photo-narrative exhibit

SEPTEMBER 27, 2019

ISPU trained teachers in Salt Lake City, alongside Utah Muslim Civic League and SLC District Schools. More than 30 attendees spent the day learning about the diversity of American Muslim experiences and left with a deeper understanding of Muslims in America beyond the headlines, equipped with the skills to create and maintain safe, inclusive classrooms.

Karen Attiah speaking at ISPU's annual banquet

NOVEMBER 23, 2019

ISPU’s annual banquet at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, celebrated facts and impactful research. It was a sold-out event, featuring speakers like comedian Aman Ali, Congressman Andy Levin (MI-9), Imam Omar Suleiman, local principal Kareemah Abbas, Dr. Nina Daoud, and journalist Karen Attiah. Thanks to many generous donors, we raised more than $189,000.

Year in Review

Here are some of the events and highlights from a busy 2019.

Dalia Mogahed and Kumar Rao in front of Kamala Harris's office

JANUARY 2019

ISPU met with Congressman André Carson and a senior staffer from Senator Kamala Harris’s office. We shared our research on disparities in legal and media treatment of ideologically motivated violence depending on the identity of the perpetrator ahead of hearings on white supremacy.

A crowd watching a presentation in the cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC

FEBRUARY 27, 2019

A crowd of 60 joined us at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City for a celebration of Black Muslim contributions. Elisabeth Becker, the principal investigator of our Muslims for American Progress (MAP) project, presented data about the Muslims of New York. Then speakers Hisham Tawfiq and Nicole Najmah Abraham spoke about their personal experiences in New York City.

Dalia Mogahed on MSNBC's AM Joy

MARCH 16, 2019

After the massacre targeting Muslims in New Zealand, ISPU Director of Research Dalia Mogahed appeared on MSNBC. She talked about ISPU research that shows how Islamophobia is linked to public support for violence, anti-semitism, and anti-Black racism.

Journalist's training

MARCH 18, 2019

ISPU hosted a training for media professionals in Chicago. Participants represented a variety of outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, ProPublica Illinois, and WBEZ Chicago public radio, and some even traveled from Wisconsin and Indiana to attend. ISPU experts explored shariah, revealed the diversity of Muslims in America, and shared how to more accurately cover ideologically motivated violence and Muslim women.

John Esposito speaking at our American Muslim Poll 2019 poll launch

MAY 1, 2019

ISPU’s fourth annual American Muslim Poll was released to the public. This year’s survey revealed trends in Muslim voting, the prevalence of sexual abuse in American faith groups, factors that predict and prevent Islamophobia, and much more.

Beyond the Ban panel

JUNE 26, 2019

ISPU co-hosted an event marking the one year anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to uphold the Muslim Ban. Panelists from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative, Advocates for Youth, Center on Conscience and War, and Justice for Muslims Collective explored the history and impact of structural Islamophobia.

ISPU's first cohort of Educators gathered around a conference table for their training

JULY 13, 2019

ISPU welcomed our inaugural cohort of ISPU Educators for an all-day training in D.C. ISPU Educators are official representatives of ISPU, trained and equipped to share groundbreaking research on American Muslims and the issues that impact them with their local and regional communities.

Teachers looking at a Muslims for American Progress photo-narrative exhibit

SEPTEMBER 27, 2019

ISPU trained teachers in Salt Lake City, alongside Utah Muslim Civic League and SLC District Schools. More than 30 attendees spent the day learning about the diversity of American Muslim experiences and left with a deeper understanding of Muslims in America beyond the headlines, equipped with the skills to create and maintain safe, inclusive classrooms.

Karen Attiah speaking at ISPU's annual banquet

NOVEMBER 23, 2019

ISPU’s annual banquet at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, celebrated facts and impactful research. It was a sold-out event, featuring speakers like comedian Aman Ali, Congressman Andy Levin (MI-9), Imam Omar Suleiman, local principal Kareemah Abbas, Dr. Nina Daoud, and journalist Karen Attiah. Thanks to many generous donors, we raised more than $189,000.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap