Me? Islamophobic? Good Heavens, No!

from Shane's Muslim Connect

The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding recently released their American Muslim Poll 2019. Since the whole of my limited social science experience has been qualitative, rather than quantitative, you’re likely a better judge of these findings than me. 

I make no claims for the veracity of this study (though it looks reliable) but want to share the statements underlying their Islamophobia Index and two conclusions which encourage me to keep writing Muslim Connect.

According to the report, “The Islamophobia Index is a measure of the level of public endorsement of five negative stereotypes associated with Muslims in America.”

  • Most Muslims living in the United States are more prone to violence than others.
  • Most Muslims living in the United States discriminate against women.
  • Most Muslims living in the United States are hostile to the United States.
  • Most Muslims living in the United States are less civilized than other people.
  • Most Muslims living in the United States are partially responsible for acts of violence carried out by other Muslims.

What does this list stir in you? For me? Well, I’m saying “mea culpa” to some of them and for others, “Is it a stereotype if it’s true?” Dang it. I know better! 

After illustrating at length that white evangelicals (again, mea culpa!) score higher for Islamophobia than any other profiled group, the report points out two things which correlate with lower scores on the index:

“Simply knowing a Muslim. . . cuts one’s likelihood of negative perceptions in half.”

and

“Knowing something about Islam is an even stronger predictor of lower Islamophobia than is knowing a Muslim personally.” (Tweet this.)

There you are. Let’s keep learning and let’s keep meeting and befriending Muslims. Toward that end, I’d like to encourage you to grab some Muslim Welcome Cards to hand out to newcomers you see. These are wonderfully practical and tangible ways to say you care.