American Muslims or Muslim Americans?: Impact of Perceived Discrimination on Confidence in Security Institutions
28 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2012
Date Written: August 27, 2012
In the years following the events of September 11th, Muslim Americans have faced heightened scrutiny and have been questioned in their ability and willingness to integrate into American society. How do Muslim Americans perceive how they are treated in America, and what effects do these perceptions have on their confidence in American institutions charged with protecting their rights and liberties? This study argues that perceived animosity towards Muslim Americans not only erodes confidence in U.S. institutions, but also affects how much identify with the United States. We explore these propositions using survey data on Muslim Americans (N=475) collected in 2010 by the Gallup Organization. While we will examine some comparisons across religious denomination, our main focus is the variation among Muslim Americans. The findings of the study have important psychological and political implications for the Muslim American community, as well as critical security implications for the U.S. Muslim Americans have accounted for the single largest information source for assisting the FBI in disrupting terrorism plots. Maintaining the community's confidence will be critical for continued cooperation and assistance.
Keywords: Discrimination, Government trust, Muslim Americans, Social Identity, Religion
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