In many ways, Muslim men and women see life in America differently

Source: Pew Research Center


While many Muslims express wariness and anxiety about aspects of their lives in the United States, Muslim women tend to be more pessimistic about their place in U.S. society than Muslim men.

According to a new Pew Research Center survey, more Muslim women than men say it has become more difficult to be Muslim in the U.S. in recent years (57% vs. 43%).

And Muslim women are more divided on their acceptance by society at large than are men. Half (52%) of Muslim women say they have a lot in common with most Americans and 44% view the American people as friendly toward Muslim Americans, compared with two-thirds of Muslim men who say each of these things.

Muslim women also express more apprehension than men about anti-Muslim discrimination. Eight-in-ten Muslim women (83%) say there is a lot of discrimination against Muslims, compared with a smaller share of men who say this (68%). In fact, about half (55%) of women say they have experienced at least one of several specific types of anti-Muslim discrimination in the past year. These incidents include having been treated with suspicion, called offensive names, singled out by airport security or other law enforcement, or physically threatened or attacked. Fewer men (42%) say they have personally experienced one of these types of anti-Muslim discrimination in the past year.

Muslim women also are more likely than men to say they stand out in society due to their physical appearance. While some Muslim men (27%) say there is something distinctive about their appearance, voice or clothing that people might associate with being Muslim, a much greater share of women (49%) say there is something distinctively Muslim about the way they look. This could in part explain why Muslim women are more likely than men to say they have experienced discrimination. Six-in-ten (64%) Muslims whose appearance identifies them as Muslim have experienced discrimination compared with 39% among those who are not easily identifiable as Muslim.

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