(RNS) — American Muslims breathed a sigh of reduction when regulation enforcement authorities introduced the arrest of a person suspected of killing as many as 4 Muslim males in Albuquerque, New Mexico, earlier this month.
However then it turned out the suspect, Muhammad Syed, was himself a Muslim. (He has been charged within the killing of three of the men.)
A brand new survey by the Institute for Social Coverage and Understanding, a assume tank based mostly in Washington and Dearborn, Michigan, corroborates a disturbing discovering. Whereas Islamophobia has declined amongst different American non secular teams, it has elevated amongst Muslims themselves.
American Muslims scored 26 on the ISPU’s Islamophobia index of 0 to 100, which measures a gaggle’s endorsement of anti-Muslim stereotypes. That’s greater than many different non secular teams, corresponding to Jews, who scored 17 on the index; Protestants, who scored 23; or the religiously unaffiliated, who had a rating of twenty-two. White Catholics (28) and white evangelicals (30) scored highest on the Islamophobia index.
“Minority teams can internalize detrimental stereotypes about their group,” mentioned Erum Ikramullah, analysis venture supervisor and the report’s co-author. “It has enormous results on psychological well being, emotions of disgrace, embarrassment and self-identity.”
Throughout the Muslim group, the report discovered that greater Islamophobia index scores have been pushed primarily by Muslims who establish as white. White Muslims had a rating of 40 on the index.
Moustafa Bayoumi, a professor of of English at Brooklyn Faculty, Metropolis College of New York, instructed that’s a disaster of whiteness that has affected white Muslims, too.
“With the entire nation being pushed by conservative politics centered on whiteness, it’s naive to assume that white Muslims wouldn’t be prone to that very same ideology,” Bayoumi mentioned.
Youthful Muslims have been additionally extra prone to have internalized Islamophobia.
The ISPU Muslim Ballot is the sixth annual survey investigating the views of Muslims, Jews and the final inhabitants. The 2022 survey, carried out between February and March, was fielded on-line and on the cellphone from amongst 807 U.S. Muslims, 351 U.S. Jews and 1,001 U.S. adults from the final inhabitants, for a complete of two,159 respondents.
Amongst its different findings, the survey discovered U.S. Muslims have been extra optimistic in regards to the route of the nation than different non secular teams. Some 60% of U.S. Muslims approve of President Joe Biden’s job efficiency, and 81% are registered to vote — an enormous bounce over 2016, when a earlier ballot discovered solely 60% have been registered.
The survey additionally finds that in line with all different minority religion teams, U.S. Muslims are more than likely to register as Democrats (46%) or independents (40%). Solely 10% registered as Republican.
Regardless of their optimism and excessive charges of civic engagement, 60% of Muslims additionally mentioned they skilled discrimination — greater than Jews and most of the people. A lot of the discrimination they skilled was in institutional settings: when making use of for a job (37%), when interacting with regulation enforcement (38%), on the airport (44%) and when searching for well being care providers (27%).
This 12 months, the survey additionally requested about discrimination on social media and located that 46% of U.S. Muslims mentioned they skilled bias, corresponding to having messages eliminated, having accounts closed or being kicked off a platform.
However the discovering about internalized Islamophobia was essentially the most regarding, particularly because it has grown. Between 2020 and 2022, the rating elevated 6 factors, from 20 to 26.
Research have proven that minorities can internalize the detrimental stereotypes of their group from fashionable tradition, information media and political rhetoric, mentioned Muniba Saleem, a professor in media psychology, intergroup communication and variety on the College of California, Santa Barbara.
Internalized Islamophobia, the research discovered, was extra prevalent amongst youthful Muslims — these born after the 9/11 terrorist assaults by which Muslims have been demonized after which surveilled by regulation enforcement.
Abed A. Ayoub, authorized and coverage director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, mentioned the expansion of white supremacy and white Christian nationalism can also be influencing Muslims’ personal sense of themselves.
“Are our youthful people selecting up sectarianism from areas on the web the place right-wing conspiracy theories are put on the market for their very own profit?” Ayoub requested in a webinar on the survey.
Within the case of the Albuquerque killings, the suspect, who’s Sunni Muslim and initially from Afghanistan, gave the impression to be offended at Shiite Muslims. (Sunni and Shiite Muslims differ of their beliefs over who was the correct successor to the Prophet Muhammad, amongst different issues.)
“There are variations in beliefs,” Ayoub mentioned. “We are able to acknowledge these and respect these. That doesn’t weaken us. Our basis and core are the identical. We do want to begin addressing this in our mosques and establishments. We have to come up with this dialog earlier than right-wing media areas fill that void.”
The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 share factors.