In recent years, extensive studies have been conducted on hostility to Islam and "Islamophobia" in Western societies in conjunction with the escalation of this phenomenon in them, and this year the United Nations General Assembly unanimously approved a day to combat Islamophobia.

And “Islamophobia” is a concept that literally means the collective pathological fear of Islam and Muslims, but in reality it is a type of racism based on a set of actions, feelings and stereotypes that are hostile to Islam and Muslims.

In the United States, a 2006 study by political scientist Costas Panagopoulos showed that general sentiment toward Muslims in the country combines low levels of awareness of the essential elements of Islam, with growing anxiety and hatred toward this community.

In her article published by the American website "Salon", writer Sophia McClainen said that as appalling it has been to document the Islamophobia rampant in the United States since the attacks of September 11, 2001, there has been expectations that some aggressive stereotypes towards the Muslim community may diminish with the passage of time. time, but this did not happen.

It is clear that the phenomenon of Islamophobia is on the rise, as it has increased in prevalence in American society.

The writer believes that it is a mistake to believe that the events of September represented the beginning of Islamophobia in the United States, and refers to the book by Khaled Beydoun, Professor of Law at Wayne University, entitled "American Islamophobia" entitled "American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear", which considers that structural Islamophobia dates back to the century The 18.

Structural Islamophobia

Beydoun's book examines how deeply anti-Muslim rhetoric is rooted in the American legal system, and using its unique lens explores the many ways in which law, politics, and official state discourse have fueled the resurgence of Islamophobia in the United States.

"American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear" by author and academic Khaled Beydoun (Al Jazeera)

The book charts the long and horrific history of the phenomenon, from the pre-war plight of enslaved African Muslims in the south, the laws prohibiting Muslim immigrants from becoming citizens, to the ways in which the "war on terror" blames any terrorist act on Islam, and the countless trials Countless American Muslims face.

The author examines domestic "war on terror" legislation in how it discriminates against Muslims and affects daily life within Muslim societies, and argues passionately that by failing to frame Islamophobia as a system of intolerance sanctioned by law, encouraged, and implemented by government actors, American society ignores the harm it does to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Either, according to the book.

By presenting the stories of Muslim Americans who experienced Islamophobia across different racial, ethnic, and social and economic lines, Beydoun analyzes how American laws destroy lives, whether directly or inadvertently.

To benefit society as a whole, the author recommends advice for American Muslims and their allies to build alliances with other groups.

Consolidating and supporting hostility

The writer quotes Faiza Patel, a researcher at the Brennan Center for Justice, considering that (former President Donald) Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric represented a model for an unprecedented administration hostile to Islam, to the extent that Trump supported asking Muslims in the United States to register in a special database - a suggestion that he retracted after criticism It resembles the registration of Jews in Nazi Germany - but what is particularly worrisome now is that manifestations of Islamophobia have not diminished with the administration of his successor, President Joe Biden.

According to a number of recent studies, American Islamophobia has taken root, normalized and spread.

In May 2022, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced a 9% increase in the number of civil rights complaints it had received from Muslims in the United States since 2020.

The writer cautioned that Islamophobia groups in the United States receive significant funding.

In June 2022, CARE found that between 2017-2019, approximately $105.9 million was funneled to 26 Islamophobia groups to spread misinformation and conspiracy theories about Muslims and Islam.

And new research by a Rice University team shows that Muslims in America are five times more likely to be harassed by the police because of their religion than are other religions.

Many Muslim Americans fear state-enforced police surveillance through measures such as online tracking, airport security, routine stops, and surveillance inside religious sites.

worrying data

The author pointed out that the recent data of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding revealed two additional findings that raise serious concern.

  • First: The increasing phenomenon of Islamophobia within the Muslim community, especially among young people who lived most of their lives after the events of 9/11 in a country whose identity was demonized in popular culture, media, political discourse, and politics, at a time when the Institute notes a worrying rise in the phenomenon of Islamophobia among the white Muslim community. who are also the most likely to report experiencing regular religious discrimination.

  • The second finding indicates that Islamophobia is on the rise in schools. The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding report stated that 48 percent of Muslim families with school-age children reported that one child was a victim of religiously motivated bullying last year.

    This level of bullying is much higher than that of other societies, with only 13% of Jewish families and 18% of the general public reporting school bullying.

    While one-fifth of Muslim families report that bullying occurs almost every day, the Council on American-Islamic Relations confirmed these findings.


The author points out that the extreme levels of Islamophobia in the United States are more than just a problem of negative stereotyping.

It reinforces the way Muslims have been dehumanized.

If prejudice attributes common negative traits to an entire group, then dehumanization dehumanizes the group entirely.

Islamophobia in the United States is an example of dehumanization, not prejudice, according to the author.

This is due to the fact that the successes and achievements of the American Muslim community remain obscured by a culture of hate.

For example, the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding report notes that American Muslims are job creators, with self-employed Muslims employing an average of 8 workers, creating at least 1.37 million American jobs.

They are also generally highly educated, with 46% of American Muslims over the age of 25 stating that they have a college degree, in addition to the fact that American Muslims are educated in the military, and white Muslims are more likely to be in the military than white Americans, according to the author.

Perhaps most surprisingly, American Muslims express more optimism than any other group about the country's future despite their Islamophobia.

Despite reporting higher levels of voter suppression, American Muslims do not hesitate to vote, with voter registration among Muslims increasing dramatically from 60% in 2016 to 81% in 2022.

With misconceptions about the Muslim community as violent and threatening, it turns out that American Muslims reject violence against civilians at a higher rate than white evangelicals.

The same author pointed out that common negative perceptions of American Muslims are inconsistent with what Muslim Americans themselves believe, or with the value they place on American society.

The real conclusion from these recent studies is that the problem is not just the spread of Islamophobia, but also in the narrow perspective of Muslims, which portrays them as evil demons or helpless victims, according to the writer.

The report of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding "ISPU" (ISPU) suggested that the media should accurately and creatively portray Muslim societies, at a time when the media is constantly focused on the self-concept of Muslims, and no part of public opinion is opposed to biased and anti-democratic policies.