Islamophobia prompts Muslims to engage in US democracy: report

Anti-Muslim measures have backfired, causing the US Muslim population to protest and run for office in higher numbers.


Islamophobic attacks are on the rise in the US under the Trump administration [Andrew Harnik/The Associated Press]
Islamophobic attacks are on the rise in the US under the Trump administration [Andrew Harnik/The Associated Press]

Washington, DC – American Muslims reported a higher number of incidents of discrimination this past year than any other religious group, but growing Islamophobia has pushed them to become more politically engaged, according to Muslim leaders, pollsters and activists.

The third annual poll published this week by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), a think-tank based in Washington, DC, and Michigan, found that hate crimes against Muslims increased to an unprecedented level during Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign and following his election in late 2016.

Measuring the level of anti-Muslim sentiment in the US through its first-ever national Islamophobia Index, the survey, titled Pride and Prejudice, showed that while Muslims only comprise one percent of the population, their community occupies an outsized role in the American popular psyche.

The poll of approximately 2,500 Americans from different faiths debunked some of the most incendiary and widely believed tropes about American Muslims, such as their responsibility for most “terrorist” attacks in the US – the majority of which are carried out by white supremacists.

One of the ways of pushing back against Islamophobia, US Muslims have found, is becoming more politically active and engage in electoral politics to change what they see as a biased shift in their country.

“The bright side of all of this is that over the past several years Muslims have climbed steadily in the percentage that report being registered to vote,” said Dalia Mogahed, ISPU’s director of research and former adviser on Muslim affairs during the Barack Obama administration.

“While things have gotten a lot harder, the response in many cases is greater engagement, not isolation … Muslims are less satisfied with the direction of the country but they are more politically engaged.”

The poll found that almost 75 percent of Muslims said they were registered to vote, an increase of seven percentage points over last year’s numbers. That reflects was a steady increase, as last tally itself was eight percentage points higher than the 2016 mark, the report said.

More than 90 American Muslims, nearly all of them Democrats, are running for public office across the country this year, an unprecedented number that marks an exceptional rise for a diverse group that typically has been underrepresented in American politics.

“We are experiencing – for the first time – the level of discrimination that we would talk about for a decade as a community,” Hamza Khan, a Democratic candidate for state delegate in Maryland and director of the Pluralism Project, a hybrid Political Action Committee (PAC) established in 2017 to support Muslim and other progressive candidates.


4 replies

    The extremist Muslim since 9/11 2001 has prompted Islamophobia to hate and hostile toward Muslim in the West and USA too.
    Whereas before 9/11 Muslim lived in peace, and there was no discrimination against Muslim at work place and public.
    Women could wear burqa and Hijab without fear. It was cool.

    So the extremist Muslim created Islamophibia, we as good Muslim have to understand their feeling of fear with the extremist Muslim. They do not know how to distinguish between a good muslim and a extremist Muslim.

    Can anyone explain it?
    I tried to explain it here before, it was erased it.
    All love ❤️

    • Somi is deaf on one ear. We can explain and explain and he goes on and on with the same thing. The 100 fold murderer: Was this not one more proof of how wrong you are with your constant talk of ‘violent verses of Qur’an’ and hadiths? The 100 fold murderer, like all others like him, did not need any ‘encouragement’ from any violent hadith. In fact he never studied them. Therefore all your arguments are not valid at all. (And those of those French guys who wanted to follow in your foot steps).

    • Well, those who did 9/11 wanted exactly that: to start Islamophobia and create unrest in the world. And they follow it up with their arms supplies and ‘trainings’ and master mind …

  2. But Islam does not teach you to protest against your government or your ruler regardless of his rules and regulations. Islam teaches one to be patriotic and loyal to ones country. We the Ahmadiyya Muslims also believe in keeping mosque and state separate so if you want to run for office, great, just don’t do it based on religion or thing on like islamiphobia. G

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