Perceived Islamophobia and life satisfaction among Muslim Americans




Siddiqui, Shan Mohammed

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Over 3.4 million Muslims live in the United States, and in recent years, they have been subjected to a sharp spike in hate crimes, heightened government surveillance, and legislation that bans travel from Muslim-majority countries. These incidents are cases of Islamophobia, an irrational fear and/or hatred of Muslims. Although prior studies have shown that exposure to racial discrimination negatively impacts health and well-being, research on the effects of religious discrimination against Muslims has been limited. Using data from Pew Research Center’s 2017 Survey of Muslim Americans, this thesis examines the relationship between experiences with Islamophobia and life/country satisfaction among Muslim Americans. I find that being personally discriminated against due to one’s faith is not related to life satisfaction. Perceiving vicarious Islamophobia, however, is strongly associated with poorer life and country satisfaction. Implications for future research on Muslim Americans are discussed.



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