Islamophobia in the United States

Islamophobia in the United States can be described as the affective distrust and hostility towards Muslims, Islam, and those perceived as following the religion and or appear as members of the religion and its associative groups.[1] This social aversion and bias is facilitated and perpetuated by violent and uncivilized stereotypes portrayed in various forms of American media networks and political platforms that result in the marginalization, discrimination, and exclusion of the Muslims and Muslim perceived individuals.[2] Media and politicians capitalize on public fear and distrust of Muslims through laws that specifically target Muslims, while the media emphasizes Muslim religious extremism in association with violent activity.[1]

Advocacy groups like Center for American Progress explain that this social phenomenon is not new, but rather, has increased its presence in American social and political discourse over the past ten to fifteen years. They cite that several organizations donate large amounts of money to create the "Islamophobia megaphone".[2] CAP defines the megaphone analogy as "a tight network of anti- Muslim, anti- Islam foundations, misinformation experts, validators, grass root organizations, religious rights groups and their allies in the media and in politics" who work together to misrepresent Islam and Muslims in the United States.[2] As a result of this network, Islam is now one of the most stigmatized religions, with only 37 percent of Americans having a favorable opinion of Islam, according to a 2010 ABC News/ Washington Post poll.[3] This biased perception of Islam and Muslims manifests itself into the discrimination of racially perceived Muslims in the law and media, and is conceptually reinforced by the Islamophobia network.

A report from the University of California Berkeley and the Council on American–Islamic Relations estimated that $206 million was funded to 33 groups whose primary purpose was "to promote prejudice against, or hatred of, Islam and Muslims" in the United States between 2008 and 2013, with a total of 74 groups contributing to Islamophobia in the United States during that period.[4] This has been referred to as the "Islamophobia industry" by scholars Nathan Lean and John Esposito.[5]

End Islamophobia, Silent Protest at Union Station, Washington DC (33348748371)
A silent protest at Union Station against Islamophobia in Washington D.C.

In employment

In hiring

A 2013 Carnegie Mellon University study found that, nationally, Muslims had "13% fewer callbacks" than Christians after submitting identical job applications to the same establishments.[6] The study also concluded that discrepancies between callbacks for Muslims and Christians were larger "in counties with a high fraction of Republican voters," with Christians getting almost four times as many return calls in these constituencies. On the other hand, there was no discernible hiring discrimination against Muslims in Democratic counties.[7] Biases were larger on the state level, with Christians getting more than seven times as many callbacks than Muslims in Republican states. Democratic states, once again, showed "no significant callback biases." The study added that "employers in older counties are significantly less likely to call back the Muslim candidate compared to the Christian candidate"[8]

In the workplace

Protection against religious discrimination in the workplace is found in the context of the Civil Rights Act of 1964[9] Employees claim religious discrimination when it involves any of the following: disparate treatment, religious harassment, failure to reasonably accommodate religious beliefs, and retaliation against an applicant or employee who alleges religious discrimination.[9] Disparate treatment can be defined as someone receiving different treatment regarding recruitment, hiring, promotion, discipline, compensation because of their religion.[9] Religious Harassment involves employees who are forced to participate or abstain from religious practices if they want to stay employed.[9] Accommodation claims involve the employer's failure to reasonably accommodate any change to the work environment that would enable the employee to remain compliant with their religion.[10] Retaliation happens when an employer resorts to punitive action against an employee for seeking out religious accommodations, threatening or filing a claim, assisting in someone else filing for discrimination, or testifying in discrimination proceedings.[9]

After the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission orEEOC reported that religion- based discrimination against Muslims had increase by nearly 250 percent.[11] Moreover, the number of discrimination claims made by Muslims over a four-year period, from 2001 to 2005, nearly doubled when compared with another 4-year period.[12]

Religious harassment

In regards to religious harassment, studies show that, in general, these type of suits are increasing.[13] In the case of Zayed v. Apple Computers, an Arab Muslim woman sued Apple Inc. on the grounds of harassment, retaliation, defamation, and infliction of emotional distress based on religion, national origin, and gender.[14] Zayed had been employed as an at- will engineer since 1994, and stated that she had experienced dramatic changes in her work environment after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.[10] Zayed claimed that fellow employees began inquiring as to whether or not her religion encouraged Muslims to engage in suicide bombings.[10] Additionally, she stated that these same employees gave her malicious expressions, slammed her door, and expressed visible discontent and anger with Zayed after she expressed her disapproval with the war in Iraq.[10] Moreover, she also felt isolated when Apple put up red, white and blue ribbons on many employees' doors, but not on hers.[15] Soon after Zayed claimed that she felt marginalized and believed that she was wrongfully excluded from projects and career opportunities that were mostly given to white, non- Arab, colleagues.[15] Finally in 2004, Zayed chose to go on disability leave, stating that it was partly due to the stress she had been experiencing in response to the harsh treatment from her supervisors and coworkers.[10] But while on sick leave, Apple terminated Zayed. After her termination, Zayed decided to sue.

Disparate Treatment

In the case Al- Aqrabawi v. Pierce County, a Muslim man from Jordan had been educated as a physician abroad, but was only hired as a nursing assistant at a county mental health facility, to which the county originally stated that it was due to licensing issues.[10] In addition to this, the Plaintiff also experienced discriminatory comments by an LPN alluding to their suspicion that the Plaintiff was a terrorist.[10] The Plaintiff also claimed that a fellow coworkers said that "we have to send in our Phantoms and bomb their Mecca".[10] These comments, in conjunction, with discriminatory licensing practices, led to the plaintiff suing on behalf of claims of failure to promote, discrimination, and hostile environment.[10]

Religious accommodation

In regards to religious accommodation, a Muslim woman named Halla Banafa filed a discrimination claim after she didn't receive a job stocking merchandise at an Abercrombie Kids store in Milpitas, California because she wore the hijab.[16] According to EEOC, the manager decided against hiring the woman because she didn't fit the Abercrombie look, which would violate the company's "Look Policy".[17] This policy functions as an internal dress code that explicitly prohibits head coverings.[17] However, this is not the first time that Abercrombie has run into issues with their strict "Look Policy". In 2005, the company paid $40 million in a class- action suit involving African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos and women because Abercrombie "refused to recruit, hire, promote, and retain minorities because they didn't fit Abercrombie's 'All- American look'".[17]

In 2017, the government of New York City charged Pax Assist with discrimination after refusing requests by Muslims employees to change the times of their breaks to coincide with iftar. The company responded by saying "we don't care about Ramadan. We'll give you a break on our time, not your time."[18]

Religious retaliation

In the case Ibraheem v. Wackenhut Services, the black male Muslim claimed religious retaliation when he was fired after submitting an EEOC charge of discrimination and filing for a lawsuit involving claims about hostile work environments and religious discrimination.[19]

Women in Islam

Muslim woman in Yemen
A common stereotype applied to Muslim Women in the West

The existing discourse that positions Islam and western values against each other also underpins how the Americans perceive Muslim women in society.[20] Scholars assert that media, Islamophobic organizations, and politicians have played a tremendous role in depicting Muslim women as consistently endangered and subjugated by the alleged patriarchical nature of Islam.[20] In support of this presumption, many scholars conclude that women's status in Islam has a complex history, one that implies instances of male privilege and the relegation of women to a second class citizenry.[21] However, more recently, a movement known as Progressive Reformism, spearheaded by activists like Fatima Mernissi, assert that Islam is not stagnant, but rather a dynamic text that can adapt and evolve to society.[20]

Fatima Mernissi, a leader in the Islamic Feminism movement, works to invalidate presumptions that Muslim women are inherently demoted to a second class position in the Islamic faith, in relation to men.[22] Mernissi believes that the goal of her movement, described as Nisaism, which is Arabic for woman, is one that is dedicated to supporting a woman's "full right to full- fledged participation and contribution in the remaking, changing and transforming of her society as well as the full realization of her own talents, needs, potentials, dreams and truth".[22] This broad definition is also used and reconstructed by other Islamic feminists on a variety of issues.

One of these issues includes the rising controversy and questioning of the meaning behind veiling.[22] First and foremost, those who adhere to a feminist interpretation of the Qu'ran say that the conception of veiling is not monolithic in nature.[22] Rather, what constitutes veiling varies across regions. Some choose to wear a Niqab which refers to various materials that are used to cover a woman's face.[22] Others choose to wear long conservative skirts and dresses that cover most skin.[22] The hijab, which is usually worn around a woman's head, is also prevalent among various regions.[23] Furthermore, just as the definition of what constitutes veiling varies, so do the attitudes of those who choose to veil.[23] A study conducted by Jen'Nan Ghazal Read and John P. Bartowski surveyed twenty- four Muslim women in Austin, Texas and found that while veiled women contained somewhat more conservative gender attitudes, the vast majority of those same women support women's rights in public life and marital equality.[23] In the same study, the researchers found that veiled women had varying motivations for covering.[23] Some of the respondents alluded to their religious duty of covering and how the veil symbolized her commitment to her faith.[23] Additionally, several other woman explained that certain social pressures encouraged veiling as a way to facilitate a feeling of connectedness through their broader religious community, known as the Ummah, in Arabic.[23] Veiled respondents also spoke about popular discourse regarding feminine- masculine differences. One respondent acknowledged that the veil protected women from men's biological hyper- sexual nature, claiming that if the veil was not required, "many evil things would happen...Boys would mix with girls, which will result in evil things" [23] Another respondent reinterpreted the discourse of male and female difference.[23] Instead of viewing the practice of veiling as men controlling their hyper- sexual nature, the respondent claimed that the veiling was about distinguishing women from men, as a means of honoring womanhood.[23]

Although Islamic Feminists encourage dynamic interpretations of Qu'ran's verses, not all agree with the veiling practice.[22] Fatima Mernissi's opposition to veiling partly comes from her interpretation of al- Tabari's version of the events that occurred on the Prophet Muhammad's wedding night that served as the impetus for the veiling practice when the Prophet placed a curtain between his new wife and him and the guests that were overstaying their welcome, preventing the Prophet from engaging intimately with his new wife, Zaynab Bint Jahsh.[22] Mernissi further argues that Sura 33: 53-55, from the Qur'an, that details the narrative of the Prophet's wedding night, should not be interpreted as mandating the practice of veiling for woman as means of marginalization or seclusion, but should be viewed as emphasizing the importance of treating the Prophet and his wife with respect.[22] Moreover, in the same study conducted by Read and Bartowski, some of the unveiled respondents argued that the veil "reinforced gender distinction that work to Muslim women's collective disadvantage".[23]

Muslim women's health

Although empirical research on Muslim women's health in the United States is limited, sample studies provide insight into the experiences and health behaviors of American Muslim women. Recent studies on depression and experiences of stigma measured through heightened vigilance,[24] risk for non-communicable diseases (e.g. cardiovascular disease, diabetes, etc.),[25] and contraception utilization[26] provide a scientific foundation for future research studies with Muslim women.

In education

At Columbus Manor school, a suburban Chicago elementary school where nearly half the student body is Muslim Arab American, school board officials have considered eliminating holiday celebrations after Muslim parents complained that their culture's holidays were not included. Local parent, Elizabeth Zahdan, said broader inclusion, not elimination, was the group's goal. "I only wanted them modified to represent everyone," the Chicago Sun-Times quoted her as saying. "Now the kids are not being educated about other people."[27] However, the district's superintendent, Tom Smyth, said too much school time was being taken to celebrate holidays already, and he sent a directive to his principals requesting that they "tone down" activities unrelated to the curriculum, such as holiday parties.

In airports

Since the terrorist attacks that occurred on 9/11, American airports have considered it their duty to act as the "front line of defense". Polls conducted in the United States also show that more than half of Americans support the policy of more extensive security checks for Arab and Muslim Americans in airports.[28]


Some publishers have noted the presence of Islamophobia during immigration proceedings. Nonetheless, such forms of xenophobia have been said to primarily affect the male members of the Muslim population. There have also been claims stating that such forms of xenophobia have enveloped the Arab community in the U.S., often resulting in deportations, revocations of visa, and dispiriting interrogations at American airports.[29] This purportedly occurs because Muslim women are seen as less of a threat than Muslim men.[30]

In politics

Bush signs Patriot Act 2001
President George W. Bush signs the Patriot Act a few days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks

After the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, the President George W. Bush's administration passed sweeping, unprecedented legislation in response to the American public's demand for action.[31] After three days, Congress passed the law called the Authorization for the Use of Military force, giving President Bush the power to use the military in any way that seemed "appropriate or necessary towards unspecified states and non state actors."[32] Six weeks after 9/11, the PATRIOT ACT was passed, greatly expanding several government agencies' abilities to acquire information via searches, electronic surveillance, and wiretapping.[31] This same act also introduced searches that did not require the government to notify the private owner of a residence that they had been searched for up to 90 days.[32] Some scholars argue that the passage of laws like the Patriot Act was the government's way of capitalizing on a fearful American public by legalizing racially targeted policies.[33] A poll conducted shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, echoes this line of argument when it found that about one- third of Americans thought it was acceptable to detain Arab Americans in camps reminiscent of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.[34] Pew Research Center's poll, conducted in 2004, also found that almost of half Americans were willing to forego certain civil liberties in favor of ensuring national security.[35]

The enforcement of the Patriot Act has far- reaching repercussions, and is widely believed to target Muslims, Middle Eastern and Arab looking men.[36] According to the ACLU, the New York City Police Department has been spying on Muslim- American communities since 2002.[37] In this same report, the ACLU asserts that the NYPD has singled specific Islamic associations, groups, mosques, and businesses, while not subjecting any other non- Islamic associated groups to this type of surveillance or scrutiny.[37] The NYPD was enabled by the Patriot Act to essentially map out the communities, introduce spies into the community to identify or collect evidence, and even track individuals in these communities who change their name to a more Americanized name.[37] The legalization of dismantlement of civil liberties for a group, deemed inherently suspect, has caused a cultural rift in America's view towards Muslims, Middle Eastern men, and those who appear to be Arab.[28]

As a supplement to the Patriot Act, the U.S. government also instituted immigration policies such as the National Security Entry- Exit Registration System in 2002.[32] This policy targeted immigrants from twenty six countries, twenty five of them known as Muslim countries, and had them fingerprinted and registered into a select system upon entry into the country.[32] Supporters of the policy in the Justice Department explain that the selection of immigrants into the system is predicated on the current intelligence data that has been collected to monitor terrorist organization's activity.[38] Even though the Justice Department elucidated that the system is highly sensitive in their targets, they also stated that the system will track "all nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, and Syria," despite knowing that none of the terrorists involved in the 9/11 attacks were from these countries. In spite of the money dedicated to the new homeland security paradigm in the wake of 9/11.[32] Bill Ong Hing argues that the restructuring and implementation of more security measures via immigration policies as well as the expansion of powers of executive enforcement has not aided in the goal of apprehending terrorists.[39] Hing cites that over 83,000 men came forward to register in the system, and about 13,000 of them were deemed dangerous enough to enter deportation proceedings.[39] However, James Ziglar, President Bush's appointed INS commissioner, stated that nobody in the registry was ever charged and convicted of crimes associated with terrorism.[32]

The U.S. government also decided to devote resources to create the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in 2001.[32] This policy afforded the TSA the duties of careful airport screening, which was once performed by private security firms chosen by certain airlines.[32] It also allowed them to conduct random canine- assisted searches, implement more checkpoints, and place air marshals on thousands of flights coming from all over the world. The TSA also holds the No- Fly List and the Automatic Selectee list, two controversial terrorism watch lists. The No- Fly List contains names of individuals who have been labeled as a threat to aviation across the United States.[40] If on the list, individuals are not allowed to fly on commercial flights headed towards the United States, are supposed to fly over United States airspace, or are managed by a U.S. airline. Although, the No Fly List and the Automatic Selectee List existed prior to the 9/11 attacks, the combined total of names on both lists rose from less than 20 to more than 20,000 by the end of 2004.[32] Scholars argue that these lists target millions of innocent people who resemble distinct Middle Eastern characteristics, like ethnicity, skin color, language and clothing.[41] With these governmental policies in place, racism has been institutionalized in regards to Muslims, especially foreign born. The foreign born Muslims seeking travel to the United States are depicted in airports as potentially violent and religiously extremist.[31] However, even U.S. citizen Muslims who fit the American caricature of a Muslim are not safe from these policies. A USA Today/ Gallup poll conducted in 2010 echoed the prevalence of racist public sentiment, showing that about 60 percent of the American public showed favorable views towards ethnic profiling towards Arabs, even if they were U.S. citizens.[42]

In the media

In the immediate months following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, an expected surge of media attention was devoted to American Muslims and Arabs.[43] Frequent news stories and discussions involved the issue of civil liberties that American Muslims were facing due to the increase in reports involving physical violence and assaults on Arabs and Muslims.[43] Despite the notable prejudice towards Arabs and Muslims after the terrorist attack, outlets like the New York Times printed opinion pieces discouraging the indiscriminate attribution of blame to one or more groups by the way of curtailing civil liberties and social freedoms.[43]

Other researchers like Brigitte Nacos and Oscar Torres- Reyna coded media dispositions on Islam and Muslims before and after 9/11.[43] Their studies concluded that before 9/11, about 25 percent of the pertinent articles taken from four different newspapers connoted positive sentiment towards Muslims.[43] Likewise, approximately 40 percent of the articles taken from the same newspapers expressed empathetic attitudes towards Muslims and Arabs alike. These same researchers argue that 9/11 terrorist attacks changed the way news media outlets (print or television) reported on Muslim Americans and Arabs.[43] They cite that because news media outlets selected Muslims and Arabs for interviews and discussions instead of their traditional authoritative sources, these minority groups became more visible to the American public.[43] This increased visibility, in conjunction with news items reporting public figures advocacy for increased understanding between Muslims and non- Muslims, echoed the heterogeneous nature of the religion.[34] Additionally, these pleas and visibility helped dispel the idea that Islam was a violent and hateful religion, temporarily debunking the myth that terrorism is intertwined with the Islamic faith.[34]

In totality, several opinion surveys reflected the impact of the shift in media coverage towards Muslim Americans and Arabs.[43] The surveys showed that the American public viewed American Muslims more favorably than they did prior to the 9/11 attacks.[43]

Article from the Guardian

As time passed the immediate months post- 9/11, the news media outlets reflected a notable shift away from positive, supportive, and empathetic sentiments towards Muslim Americans and Arabs.[43] The next six months and the years after the attacks showed that, in addition to westernized media, American media outlets became increasingly critical of Muslim Americans.[43] Some attribute this notable shift to the silencing of voices that once advocated for Muslim Americans as peaceful individuals.

According to Media Tenor International, between 2007 and 2013, media outlets like NBC, Fox News, and CBS characterized Islam and the Muslim identity as one linked with violence and extremism.[44] Other studies conducted by LexisNexis Academic and CNN found that media outlets devoted more coverage to terrorist attacks involving Muslims, especially Muslims who were not born in the United States.[45]

Author and researcher Nahid Afrose Kabir examined similar reporting on violent events. One event he studied was the Fort Hood shooting that occurred on November 5, 2009. Major Nidal Malik Hasan, who was identified as American born but held a Muslim background, shot and killed thirteen soldiers and wounded thirty more.[46] Some of the interviewees commented on how the news reporting of this event emphasized Hasan's Muslim background.[46] The same interviewees in this study compared the Virginia Tech shooting with the Fort Hood shooting in which a non- Muslim individual, Seung- Hui Cho, killed thirty- two people, but following news reports did not make a point to emphasize his religious or cultural ties.[46] Similarly, in various print media outlets, headlines alluded to the idea that the Fort Hood Shooting had ties to terrorist acts or other terrorist organizations.[46] Another incident that occurred in Times Square on May 2, 2010, provoked more anti- Muslim sentiment.[46] Faisal Shahzad made a bombing attempt that failed.[47] The Times subsequent reporting indicated that Pakistan's Tehrik- e- Taliban took credit for the failed attempt.[47] In the same report over the incident, Kabir noted that the Times report used this incident to further legitimize the wars in the Middle East, emphasizing the need to take out potential terrorists.[46] Kabir echoed Reem Bakker's sentiments, an interviewee in Kabir's study, that the failed attempt further ostracized the Muslim community.[46]

Hate crimes

Anti-Muslim protestors (26713859273) crop
A sign showing anti- Muslim rhetoric

In general, the definition of a hate crime involves two elements that distinguish it from other illegal acts.[48] Namely, that the crime must be a criminal offense that is backed by a biased motivation.[48] This biased motivation is usually revealed when an individual targets an attack on an individual because of some immutable personal characteristic that is protected by law.[49] Hate crimes vary from assault, murder, damage to property, work place discrimination and housing discrimination.[49]

In 2000, the FBI reported 28 hate crime incidents against Muslim.[50] By the end of 2001, the number of hate crimes rose to 481.[50] Although the FBI finds that the number of anti- Muslim hate crimes has decreased since 2001, the incidence rate is still five times as much their 2000 rate, suggesting that the stereotypes that negatively link Muslims, extremism, and terrorism are still pervasive.[51] Some scholars suggest that the spike in hate crimes against Muslims in a post- 9/11 political climate is not surprising because of the phenomenon known as "vicarious retribution".[52] This phenomenon explains how when one member of a visibly identifiable group acts aggressively towards members of an out group, then the aggressor will also indirectly harm his or her fellow in group member.[52] In the context of Anti- Muslim hate crimes, the terrorist attacks on 9/11 transformed the way U.S. society would view Muslims and people of Arab descent.[51] Other experts also point out that anti- Muslim sentiment existed prior to the terrorist attacks, however, this sentiment was more or less overshadowed by other anti- minority group sentiments.[53] In contrast, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Arabs and Muslims were largely depicted as monolithic group of foreigners, extremists and terrorists[54]

Some publishers have opined that the increase in hate crimes against Muslims was an Islamophobic abuse with an ethnocentric trait. This is because many of its proponents do not distinguish between Arabs and Muslims and think all Arabs are Muslim by shapeshifting the Muslim faith into an ethnoreligion.[55] This is in contrast to decreasing hate crimes against other racial groups, such as blacks, Asians and Latinos with the exception of Jews.[55]

Ibrahim Hooper, the communications director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations attributes the spike in recent anti-Muslim attacks to the Charlie Hebdo shooting, as well as the coverage" 'radical Islam' on the news while not using the word "radical" for non-Muslim faiths.[56][57] According to a report by CNN[58] and a survey from the Council on American–Islamic Relations there have been over 63 acts of vandalism and anti Muslim behavior in 2015 from January through December 3.


The Quba Islamic Institute in Houston, Texas, was set alight at 5am on the 13 February 2015. Some media reports described it as an Islamophobic attack.[59]


Zohreh Assemi, an Iranian American Muslim owner of a nail salon in Locust Valley, New York, was robbed, beaten, and called a "terrorist" in September 2007 in what authorities call a bias crime.[60] Assemi was kicked, sliced with a boxcutter, and had her hand smashed with a hammer. The perpetrators, who forcibly removed $2,000 from the salon and scrawled anti-Muslim slurs on the mirrors, also told Assemi to "get out of town" and that her kind were not "welcomed" in the area. The attack followed two weeks of phone calls in which she was called a "terrorist" and told to "get out of town," friends and family said.[60]


A Muslim school in the Northeastern U.S. state of Rhode Island was vandalised with graffiti bearing "Now this is a Hate crime", indicating that the perpetrators were wary of the hateful nature. The incident was described by some media outlets as "Islamophobic".[61]

Contributors and organizations

In 2011 the Center for American Progress produced a report called Fear. Inc. The Roots of the Islamophobic Network in America, and asserted that an esteemed, elite, and wealthy group of conservative foundations and affluent donors were the engine behind the continuation of Islamophobia in law, private spheres, and general public sentiment towards Muslims and Arabs at large.[2] In this same report, they analyzed seven specific organizations that contributed almost $42.6 million in funding towards various organizations and think tanks that promoted Islamophobia.[2] Much of this money goes to the "misinformation experts".[2] These experts are people who spread the message that Islam is an inherently sinister and hostile religion that seeks to convert or destroy all non- Muslims, especially those residing in the United States.[2]

CAIR and Center for American Progress list ACT for America as anti- Islam hate group run by Brigitte Gabriel.[62] According to ACT's website, the organization views itself as the gatekeeper of national security for American borders, with over 750,000 members and 12,000 volunteer activists.[63] They state that their activities are geared towards educating citizens and elected officials to impact public policy and guard America for terrorism.[63] CAIR attributes anti- sharia law campaign with ACT in Oklahoma.[62] Additionally, CAIR asserts that ACT has ties with white national supremacy groups such as Vanguard America and Identity Europa.[62]

Robert Spencer is listed as a misinformation expert.[2] He contributes content to the blog known as 'Jihad Watch', which heavily funded by the David Horowitz Freedom Center Initiative and the Stop Islamization of America groups.[62] Smearcasting, an organization dedicated to accurate reporting, accused Spencer of only focusing on the violent verses and texts within the Islamic faith and deeming it as a representation of the faith as a whole.[62] Scholars and academic like Dr. Carl Kenan and William Kenan at UNC- Chapel Hill have also commented on how Spencer's beliefs regarding Islam have no foundation in any reputable academic work or in the religion itself.[62] According to the Jihad Watch website, they cite the purpose of the website is to inform non- Muslims all over the world that Islamic jihadists are attempting to destroy societies and impose Islamic law globally.[64]

Billboard advocates for Anti- Sharia laws in the United States

Center for American Progress's report in 2011 also cites the importance of political players in contributing to the spread of Islamophobia.[2] Peter King, a congressman who has served over ten- terms, held congressional hearings titled "Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response." [2] Despite the fact that most terrorist plots in the United States have been initiated by non-Muslims after 9/11, King has been cited as stating that 80-85 percent of mosques in the United States are controlled by Islamic fundamentalists. King attributed this statistic to Steven Emerson, from the Investigative Project on Terrorism, also known as viewing Islam as an inherently violent religion that is hostile to non-Muslims.[65] Other political players like Sue Myrick, an eight - term congresswoman from North Carolina, rely on the network of the experts who view Islam as inherently violent.[2] Sue Myrick wrote a foreword to a book titled Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America.[2] David Gaubatz, author of the book, served on David Yerushalmi's Society of Americans for National Existence, who advocated for a 20-year jail sentence to those who practiced Sharia law.[2] Center for American Progress asserts that Sue Myrick relies on Gaubatz's book for information regarding the Islamic faith.[2] In 2011, she chaired the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Terrorism, Human Intelligence, Analysis and Counterintelligence.[2]

Some commentators have criticized individual American New Atheists such as Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens for making Islamophobic statements.[66][67][68] Commenting on Greenwald's response to Harris, Jerome Taylor, writing in The Independent, has stated that, "Like Chomsky, who has also been a vocal critic of New Atheism, he [Greenwald] blames writers like Harris for using their particularly anti-Islamic brand of rational non-belief to justify American foreign policies over the last decade.[69][70] Two educators at universities in Utah have claimed that these American atheist activists invoke Samuel Huntington's 'clash of civilizations' theory to explain the current political contestation and that this forms part of a trend toward "Islamophobia [...] in the study of Muslim societies".[71]


Part of the study of Islamophobia has involved historians, scholars and educators writing about institutional violence against American Muslims and incitement of violence against foreign Muslims.[72] Edward Said in his book Orientalism describes how the West is taught about the East through a Westernized lens and that most of the East's history is written in Europe by European historians, instead of specialized scholars of Eastern history.[73] When applied, Orientalism serves as a way of using demeaning representations of the East to assert the cultural and political superiority of the West over inferior Muslims.[74]

See also


  1. ^ a b Khan, Fazal Rahim; Iqbal, Zafar; Gazzaz, Osman B.; Ahrari, Sadollah (Spring 2012). "Global Media Image of Islam and Muslims and the Problematics of a Response Strategy". Islamic Studies. 51 (1): 5–25. JSTOR 23643922.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Wajahat, Ali; Clifton, Eli; Duss, Matthew; Fang, Lee; Keyes, Scott; Shakir, Faiz (August 2011). Fear, Inc. The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America. Washington D.C.: Center for American Progress.
  3. ^ "ABC News/Washington Post Poll: Views of Islam", ABC News, available at
  4. ^ "Funding fear of Muslims: $206m went to promoting 'hatred', report finds". The Guardian. June 20, 2016.
  5. ^ Lean, Nathan (2012). The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims. Pluto Press. p. 66.
  6. ^ Acquisti & Fong 2012, p. 3.
  7. ^ Acquisti & Fong 2012, p. 4.
  8. ^ Acquisti & Fong 2012, p. 22.
  9. ^ a b c d e Ghumman, Sonia; Ryan, Ann Marie; Barclay, Lizabeth A.; Markel, Karen S. (2013-12-01). "Religious Discrimination in the Workplace: A Review and Examination of Current and Future Trends". Journal of Business and Psychology. 28 (4): 439–454. doi:10.1007/s10869-013-9290-0. ISSN 0889-3268.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i Malos, Stan (2010-12-01). "Post-9/11 Backlash in the Workplace: Employer Liability for Discrimination against Arab- and Muslim- Americans Based on Religion or National Origin". Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal. 22 (4): 297–310. CiteSeerX doi:10.1007/s10672-009-9132-4. ISSN 0892-7545.
  11. ^ "Workplace Discrimination Against Muslims | On Labor". On Labor. 2017-02-15. Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  12. ^ Choudhury, C.A. (2008). "Terrorists and Muslims: the construction, performance, and regulation of Muslim identities in the post 9/11 United States". Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion. 11: 1–32.
  13. ^ Deschenaux, J (2011). "Nontraditonal workplace harassment lawsuits increasing". Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  14. ^ Zayed v. (2006). Apple computers. F.Supp.2d, WL 889571 (2006).
  15. ^ a b Carthen, Tony Matthew, "Ethnic Names, Resumes, and Occupational stereotypes: Will D'Money Get the Job?" (2014). Theses, Dissertations, and Other Capstone Projects. Paper 359.
  16. ^ LeVine, Marianne (1 June 2015). "Supreme Court rules against Abercrombie in hijab case". Politico. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  17. ^ a b c "Abercrombie & Fitch Sued For Religious Discrimination". Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  18. ^ Kochman, Ben (26 January 2017). "City charges Queens wheelchair service company discriminated against Muslim employees during Ramadan". New York Daily News. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  19. ^ "Court Upholds Religious Discrimination, Retaliation, and Hostile Work Environment Claims By Muslim Man". Retrieved 2018-04-07.
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the quran

hadith collection

2016 Minneapolis shooting

The 2016 Minneapolis shooting took place on June 29, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota when a man named Anthony Sawina shot at five Somali-Americans, wounding two of them. Witnesses later recounted that Sawina shouted anti-Muslim expletives and claimed he was "going to kill [them] all." The attack was condemned by civil rights groups as part of a larger rise of Islamophobia in the United States leading up the 2016 presidential election.

ACT! for America

ACT! for America, founded in 2007, is a U.S.-based anti-Muslim, pro-Trump advocacy group dedicated to combating what it describes as "the threat of radical Islam" to the safety of Americans and to democracy.Critics of the group, including the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Center for American Progress, describe it as a hate group. It has been called the U.S.'s largest anti-Muslim organization.


Amreeka is a 2009 independent film written and directed by first-time director Cherien Dabis. It stars Nisreen Faour, Melkar Muallem, Hiam Abbass, Alia Shawkat, Yussuf Abu-Warda, Joseph Ziegler, and Miriam Smith.

Amreeka documents the lives of a Palestinian American family in both the West Bank and Post-9/11 suburban Chicago. It premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and opened to critical praise at a number of other important venues. National Geographic Entertainment bought all theatrical and home entertainment rights to Amreeka after its debut at Sundance.

Barack Obama religion conspiracy theories

Allegations that Barack Obama secretly practices Islam, or that he is the antichrist of Christian eschatology, have been suggested since he campaigned for the U.S. Senate in 2004 and proliferated after his election as President of the U.S. in 2008. As with conspiracy theories surrounding his citizenship status, the claims are promoted by various fringe theorists and political opponents, with American bloggers and conservative talk radio hosts particularly promoting the theories.

Belief in these claims in the public sphere endured and, in some cases, even expanded during Obama's presidency according to the Pew Research Center, with 17% of Americans (including one third of conservative Republicans) believing him to be a Muslim in a 2012 poll.Barack Obama is a Protestant Christian. While in his twenties, Obama was involved with the Black churches. From 1992 until 2008, he was a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ—a Reformed denomination. Obama left it in the wake of the Jeremiah Wright controversy. Since 2008, he attends various Protestant churches, including Baptist, Methodist and Episcopalian churches.

Christopher Paul Hasson

Christopher Paul Hasson (born c. 1969) is a Maryland-born United States Coast Guard lieutenant accused in February 2019 of plotting the targeted assassinations of high-profile American politicians and media figures, and indiscriminate terror attacks using biological weapons. He was arrested for weapons and drug possession in February 2019.Hasson, who identifies as a white nationalist, drew inspiration from Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik and abortion clinic bomber Eric Robert Rudolph.

Clarion Project

The Clarion Project (formerly Clarion Fund Inc.) is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization founded in 2006. The organization has been involved in the production and distribution of the films Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West, The Third Jihad, Iranium and Honor Diaries. These films have been criticized for falsifying information and described as anti-Muslim propaganda.

Flying imams incident

On November 20, 2006, 6:30 pm, six Muslim imams were removed from US Airways Flight 300 to Phoenix, Arizona, at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, because several passengers and crew members became alarmed by what they felt was suspicious behavior. The airline has stated that the captain delayed takeoff and called airport security workers to ask the imams to leave the plane; the men refused, and that the captain then called police. The plane left without the imams on board about three hours later. The imams were arrested, questioned, and then released.

The imams, along with the Muslim American Society and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, have brought high-profile complaints and demonstrations against the airline, saying they were removed from the airplane solely due to religious discrimination. Investigations by the airline and police reported that the airline and ground crews responded to security concerns properly in removing the men from the plane.On July 24, 2009, U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery allowed a discrimination lawsuit filed by the imams to proceed, saying, "The right not to be arrested in the absence of probable cause is clearly established and, based on the allegations ... no reasonable officer could have believed that the arrest of the Plaintiffs was proper."

FrontPage Magazine

FrontPage Magazine (also known as is an online right-wing political website, edited by David Horowitz and published by the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

Jerry Klein's 2006 radio experiment

On November 26, 2006, radio host Jerry Klein of WMAL 630 AM (covering Washington DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland) had a program that was "focused on public reaction to the removal of six imams, or Islamic religious leaders, from a US Airways flight." (See Flying Imams controversy). In an effort to gauge his audience's reaction, he said that force should be applied to ensure that all Muslims in America wear "identifying markers. ...I'm thinking either it should be an arm band, a crescent moon arm band, or it should be a crescent moon tattoo. ...If it means that we have to round them up and do a tattoo in a place where everybody knows where to find it, then that's what we'll have to do."The response was overwhelming and "the phone lines jammed instantly". Klein later stated that "The switchboard went from empty to totally jammed within minutes. There were plenty of callers angry with me, but there were plenty who agreed." While some callers said he was "off his rocker", others insisted that his statement did not go far enough, calling for forced mass exile: "Not only do you tattoo them in the middle of their forehead but you ship them out of this country... they are here to kill us." Others called for Muslims to be placed in internment camps: "You have to set up encampments like during World War Two with the Japanese and Germans."At the end of the program, Klein revealed that his remarks had been a hoax, saying, "I can't believe any of you are sick enough to have agreed for one second with anything I said. For me to suggest to tattoo marks on people's bodies, have them wear armbands, put a crescent moon on their driver's license on their passport or birth certificate is disgusting. It's beyond disgusting ... because basically what you just did was show me how the German people allowed what happened to the Jews to happen ... We need to separate them, we need to tattoo their arms, we need to make them wear the yellow Star of David, we need to put them in concentration camps, we basically just need to kill them all because they are dangerous." A week later, Klein also expressed surprise at how much international media coverage the story got. "You should know that I've received email from around the world, interview requests from the BBC and Channel 4 in England".A Gallup poll the preceding summer had found that 39% of Americans were in favor of requiring Muslims, including those who were citizens, to bear special identification identifying them as such.

Jihad Watch

Jihad Watch is an anti-Muslim conspiracy blog affiliated with the David Horowitz Freedom Center, run by blogger Robert Spencer. It has been described as one of the main homes of the Counter-jihad movement on the internet.Jihad Watch says that it is "dedicated to bringing public attention to the role that jihad theology and ideology plays in the modern world, and to correct popular misconceptions about the role of jihad and religion in modern-day conflicts."

John Loftus (author)

John Joseph Loftus (February 12, 1950), is an American author, former high level U.S. government prosecutor and former Army intelligence officer. He is the president of the Intelligence Summit.

He is the president of The Intelligence Summit and president of the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg. Loftus also serves on the Board of Advisers to Public Information Research. Loftus is an author of numerous books on the CIA-Nazi connection including The Belarus Secret and The Secret War Against the Jews, both of which have extensive material on the Bush-Rockefeller-Nazi connection.

Murder of Balbir Singh Sodhi

Balbir Singh Sodhi (1949 – September 15, 2001), a Sikh-American gas station owner in Mesa, Arizona, was murdered in a hate crime in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. This was the first of several cases across the United States that were reported to the police as supposed acts of retaliation for the attacks. Balbir Singh Sodhi, who wore a beard and a turban in accordance with his Sikh faith, was mistaken for an Arab Muslim and murdered by 42-year-old Frank Silva Roque, a Boeing aircraft mechanic at a local repair facility who held a criminal record for an attempted robbery in California. Roque had reportedly told friends that he was "going to go out and shoot some towel-heads" the day of the attacks. Roque was sentenced to death (commuted later to life imprisonment) for first degree murder.

Muslim Massacre (video game)

Muslim Massacre: The Game of Modern Religious Genocide is a controversial 2008 amateur video game by former Something Awful forum member Eric Vaughn under the screen name "Sigvatr". It is a top-down shoot 'em up video game. The aim of the game is to kill all the Muslims that appear on the screen – in the words of its creator, "take control of the American hero and wipe out the Muslim race with an arsenal of the world's most destructive weapons."

MyPods and Boomsticks

"MyPods and Boomsticks" is the seventh episode of the twentieth season of The Simpsons. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 30, 2008.In the episode, Homer becomes suspicious of Bart's new Muslim friend, Bashir, and decides to invite his family for dinner. When Homer offends them, he goes to their home to apologize but discovers what he believes to be a terrorist plot to blow up the Springfield Mall. In the episode's subplot, Lisa gets a MyPod (a parody of iPod) and racks up a large bill.

The episode was written by Marc Wilmore and directed by Steven Dean Moore with Shohreh Aghdashloo of 24 guest starring as Bashir's mother, Mina. It is the first episode of The Simpsons to have Islam portrayed in a large role. It was the most watched show on Fox on its original airing, and received fairly positive reviews from television critics. Its theme was praised by the Council on American–Islamic Relations and the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and Aghdashloo was given an award by the latter organization for her role.

Nina Davuluri

Nina Davuluri (born April 20, 1989) is an American public speaker and advocate, who is currently the host of the reality show Made in America on Zee TV America. In 2018, she co-founded a skin care company based on Ayurveda called Aavrani.As Miss America 2014, she was the "first contestant of Indian descent to win the Miss America Competition". Shortly after becoming Miss America, Davuluri became the target of xenophobic and racist commentary in social media. Her win also instigated dialogue in India and the Indian diaspora over the topic of colorism.

Soldiers of Odin

Soldiers of Odin (SOO) is an anti-immigrant group founded in Kemi, Finland, in October 2015. The group was established as a response to thousands of migrants arriving in Finland amid the European migrant crisis.SOO has denied claims of being a racist or neo-Nazi group in interviews and on their public Facebook page. However, the group's founder, Mika Ranta, has connections to the far-right, neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement and a criminal conviction stemming from a racially motivated assault in 2005. According to the Finnish public broadcaster Yle, a private Facebook page for selected members of SOO shows that racism and Nazi sympathies are rampant among higher-ranking members. The group's nature has raised concerns of anti-immigrant vigilantism.In addition to Finland, affiliates of the group have a presence in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Estonia, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims in the United States

Stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims in the United States have been presented in various forms by the mass media in the American culture. Stereotypical representations of Arabs are often manifested in a society's media, literature, theater and other creative expressions. These representations, which have been historically and predominantly negative, have adverse repercussions for Arab Americans and Muslims in daily interactions and in current events. In American textbooks, which theoretically should be less-creative expressions, similar negative and inaccurate stereotypes are also found for Arabs and Muslims.

Islamophobia by country

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