American Muslims in the 2016 Election and Beyond

In the midst of a polarized and heated election season in 2016 where Muslims were frequent subjects of national debate, the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) set out to discover what American Muslims wanted for themselves. ISPU researchers set out to answer three key questions:

  1. Why: What is the case for American Muslim civic and political engagement?
  2. What: What are the main policy priorities for American Muslim communities
  3. How: What do American Muslim communities need to do in the short term and the long term to increase political participation?

Methodology

This report is based on a combination of qualitative and quantitative research techniques. ISPU researchers based their analysis and recommendations on:

A woman wearing a white hijab at the voting booth

Report & Executive Summary

  • In the midst of a polarized and heated election season in 2016 where Muslims were frequent subjects of national debate, the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) set out to discover what American Muslims wanted for themselves. ISPU researchers set out to answer three...

  • In the midst of a polarized and heated election season in 2016 where Muslims were frequent subjects of national debate, the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) set out to discover what American Muslims wanted for themselves. ISPU researchers set out to answer three...

Other Useful Reading

  • The American Muslim condition is paradoxical. Muslims in the U.S. live in the best of circumstances and the worst of times. Most tend to be mainstream, moderate and middle class. They are educated and are well integrated into American society. In fact, they are seen...

  • If the last two elections are any indication, candidates in the 2016 presidential race may be tempted to engage in Muslim-bashing – playing off national security anxieties and fostering racial and religious animus – to win the vote. But anti-Muslim bigotry comes at a high...

Recommendations at a Glance

Are you an ‪Inshallah Voter? Watch this video to find out.

Additional Resources

These resources may be helpful for political engagement organizers, though ISPU does not claim responsibility for the content.

Restrictive Measures Map

Click the graphic below to view an interactive map that uses data from over 3100 bills across all 50 states to track which state lawmakers supported legislation targeting reproductive rights, voting rights, refugees, Muslims, and more.

A US map showing state control by republicans, democrats, or split

Meet the Research Team

Tasneem Siddiqui

Dr. Tasneem Siddiqui

Primary Investigator

PhD from the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California (USC)

Laila Alawa

Laila Alawa

Secondary Investigator

CEO and Founder, The Tempest

Lead Marketing Strategist, PushBrand Marketing

Youssef Chouhoud

Youssef Chouhoud

Senior Research Assistant

Assistant Professor at Christopher Newport University

Dalia Mogahed

Dalia Mogahed

Director of Research, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

Sarrah Buageila

Sarrah Buageila

Project Manager, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

Meet the Research Team

Tasneem Siddiqui

Dr. Tasneem Siddiqui

Primary Investigator

PhD from the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California (USC)

Laila Alawa

Laila Alawa

Secondary Investigator

CEO and Founder, The Tempest

Lead Marketing Strategist, PushBrand Marketing

Youssef Chouhoud

Youssef Chouhoud

Senior Research Assistant

Assistant Professor at Christopher Newport University

Dalia Mogahed

Dalia Mogahed

Director of Research, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

Sarrah Buageila

Sarrah Buageila

Project Manager, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

Meet the Study Advisors

Amaney Jamal

Amaney Jamal

Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Politics at Princeton University

Director, Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice

Director, Workshop on Arab Political Development

Rashida Tlaib

Rashida Tlaib

Community Partnerships and Development Director, Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice

First Muslim woman elected to the Michigan Legislature in 2008 and one of the first Muslim women elected to U.S. House of Representatives in 2018

Muqtedar Khan

Muqtedar Khan

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Delaware

Rahfin Faruk

Rahfin Faruk

Harry S. Truman Scholar

Summa cum laude graduate, Southern Methodist University, Degrees in economics, political science, public policy, and religious studies

Meet the Study Advisors

Amaney Jamal

Amaney Jamal

Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Politics at Princeton University

Director, Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice

Director, Workshop on Arab Political Development

Rashida Tlaib

Rashida Tlaib

Community Partnerships and Development Director, Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice

First Muslim woman elected to the Michigan Legislature in 2008 and one of the first Muslim women elected to U.S. House of Representatives in 2018

Muqtedar Khan

Muqtedar Khan

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Delaware

Rahfin Faruk

Rahfin Faruk

Harry S. Truman Scholar

Summa cum laude graduate, Southern Methodist University, Degrees in economics, political science, public policy, and religious studies

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