Read More Atheist Republic A new study found that American Muslims are more Islamophobic than most religious groups. The American Muslim Poll 2022: A Politics and Pandemic Status Report by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) said Muslims in America ranked 3rd among religious groups.
Using the Islamophobia index, a measurement of a religious group’s endorsement of anti-Muslim stereotypes, ISPU graded Muslims at 26 out of 100 in the Index.
White Evangelicals are at the top with 30 out of 100, followed by Catholics at 28.
ISPU created the Islamophobia Index with the partnership of the Bridge Initiative of Georgetown University. The Index measures the perception of Muslims as being more prone to violence than other people, the tendency to discriminate against women, hostility towards the United States, being less civilized than other people, and being partially responsible for acts of violence carried out by other Muslims.
The study reflected the recent arrest of the suspect of multiple shootings that led to the death of four Muslims in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The 51-year-old suspect, Muhammad Syed, shot people in different incidents.
While police investigated a possible connection with the three previous victims, Syed’s last victim, 25-year-old Naeem Hussain, triggered panic in Albuquerque’s Muslim community.
Syed, a Sunni Muslim, may have targeted Shiite Muslims.
Erum Ikramullah, the ISPU’s research project manager and co-author of the 2022 report, explained that minority “groups can internalize negative stereotypes about their community.”
“It has huge effects on mental health, feelings of shame, embarrassment, and self-identity,” Ikramullah added.
Muniba Saleem, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, had the same comment. According to Saleem, minorities could internalize the negative stereotypes of their group from popular culture, news media, and political rhetoric.
Founded in 2002, the Washington-based ISPU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that conducts research and studies that “builds understanding and strengthens communities by laying a foundation of facts.”
The American Muslim Poll 2022 used demographic profiles identified from the previous American Muslim Polls. The new report also expanded its area to include institutional and individual Islamophobia, including bullying.
Conducted between February and March 2022, the new study was conducted online and on the phone. Respondents included 807 Muslims, 351 Jews, and 1,001 in the general population.
Abed Ayoub, the legal and policy director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, sees the rise of Christian Nationalism and White Supremacy as the primary influence on how American Muslims view their group.
Ayoub worries that younger Muslim may be exposed to sectarianism “from spaces on the internet where right-wing conspiracy theories” are found.
During a panel discussion in 2017, Mehdi Hassan warned that the media plays a significant role in fueling stereotypes and irrational fears. “In many ways, anti-Muslim hysteria is worse in the United States,” Hassan said.
Ayoub urges his fellow Muslims to discuss differences within their beliefs “before right-wing media spaces fill that void.” “We do need to start addressing this in our mosques and institutions,” Aroub said.