Islamophobia: A Threat To All

ISPU examines the impact of Islamophobia on the wider public and offers historical context as well as modern day best practices to meet this challenge.

The year 2050 is when many experts project that America will become a nation without a specific ethnic or racial majority. While some welcome this growing diversity, others see it as a demographic threat and are working to broadly erode the rights of several historically marginalized and minority groups, including American Muslims. Seeking to offer solutions to the American Muslim community’s toughest challenges through sound research, ISPU launched Islamophobia: A Threat to All.

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

The project is composed of three main research publications:

Interactive Map

Click the graphic to view the data visualization interactive map.

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

Other ISPU Research on Islamophobia

In addition to the new research provided by ISPU’s project, Islamophobia: A Threat to All, the Institute’s other scholars have produced a number of other publications on the nature of Islamophobia, including detailed data-driven studies and insightful policy briefs. Below is a sampling of what ISPU’s scholars have contributed on this important and timely topic.

  • On the eve of the 2012 presidential elections, both Islam and Mormonism are becoming increasingly politicized in the public sphere. For President Barack Obama, the myth of his secret Muslim identity is ultimately “coded into political ‘otherness’ – he’s a socialist, he’s dangerous, maybe a...

  • As the 2012 presidential election season moves into full swing, the American Muslim minority community has become a more important player on the political landscape, especially in key swing states. However, data on its members’ political attitudes and behaviors have been limited and scattered. This...

  • The San Francisco Bay Area is one of the most diverse regions in the United States. More than 30% of its population is foreign-born, and close to two-thirds of its residents under the age of 18 are the children of immigrants. Nearly 250,000 Muslims–one of...

  • The toxicity of this year’s election cycle is unprecedented in recent memory. Calls to ban Muslims, build walls to exclude immigrants, and deport others have now become acceptable policy recommendations for candidates and those who support them. Still, despite the daily rancor broadcast over the...

  • Since the firestorm that erupted following the proposal of the Park 51 development—the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque”—in Manhattan in 2010, mosques have come to symbolize controversy and division for many Americans. Since that time, mosque developments nationwide have faced resistance from neighbors as well as...

  • President Obama is a Christian. The persistent belief that he is a Muslim highlights the significance of Islamophobia in the United States today. The implication, of course, is that a Muslim should not be President. Remarkably, this false belief remained widespread even after former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Colin...

ISPU Commentary on Islamophobia

For a short and quick take on common issues and debates surrounding Islamophobia from an expert perspective, please see these op-eds penned by ISPU’s research scholars.

  • A new report out today from New York University School of Law’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) describes how American counterterrorism efforts have singled out Muslim Americans by “sending paid, trained informants into mosques and Muslim communities.” The report finds that some...

  • There has been a sudden uptick in the number of violent hate crimes where the victims are thought to be Muslim or “Middle Eastern”. Sunando Sen, a Hindu man originally from India, was shoved in front of an oncoming subway train in New York City, where he...

  • According to a 2012 research study conducted by Pew, Muslims are the second largest religious group in Europe, constituting approximately 5.9 percent of the population. Their growing presence, attributed to an influx of migration from Muslim-majority societies, has been met by increased government restrictions on and related social...

  • The problem with the NYPD’s wanton disregard for the principle of equal protection is that all US citizens are affected by the harmful discrimination. People of colour – including Arab, Sikh and South Asian Americans – have borne the brunt of the NYPD’s Islamophobic policies,...

  • With election day around the corner, millions of Americans will be out voting; there will be races for governor, mayor, initiatives, and a variety of public offices. Many, however, will be denied this opportunity due to their criminal record. Increasingly, this is the case for...

  • Muslims are subversive jihadists. The Middle East is perpetually unstable. “Islam has bloody borders.” If you’ve already made up your mind, you’ll find a way to twist the facts to support your conclusion. And if the facts don’t do the job, you can always hire...

  • A closed mind is a terrible thing to behold. But it’s a far worse thing to have to engage. And yet we must. This Saturday, the woman who murdered a complete stranger by shoving him into the path of an arriving subway train was arrested....


Canaries in a Coal Mine: How Islamophobia Threatens Us All

Meet the Research Team

Saeed Khan

Co-Principal Investigator

ISPU Fellow and Lecturer in the Department of Near Eastern and Asian Studies at Wayne State University

Asma T. Uddin

Author, Religious Freedom and Discrimination in America – Then and Now

ISPU Legal Fellow and Counsel at the Becket Fund

Alejandro BeutelAlejandro J. Beutel

Co-Principal Investigator & Project Manager

ISPU Policy and Research Engagement Fellow

Hussein Rashid

Editor & Consultant

Jamiah Adams

Nubian Sisters Productions

Linda Sarsour

Arab American Association of New York

Daniel Tutt

Unity Productions Foundations

Corey Saylor

Council on American-Islamic Relations, National Office

Nadia Tonova

National Network for Arab American Communities