Study: Muslim-American Women More Fearful, Anti-Trump Than Muslim-American Men

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WASHINGTON— Muslim-American women are more afraid, less assimilated, and dislike President Donald Trump’s policies more than Muslim-American men, in large part because they are more easily identified as Muslim, according to a recent Pew Research Center study.

Experts who consulted on the Pew study said that the appearance of Muslim women in the U.S. — 50 percent of whom are distinctive in their dress — factors into the differing opinions. Zareena Grewal, associate professor of American and religious studies at Yale University, said this makes Muslim women more likely to be the objects of “societal discrimination.”

“The report rightfully focuses on the sense of being under attack that exists within the American Muslim community,” said Ihsan Bagby, associate professor of Islamic studies at the University of Kentucky. “Muslims have never had such a high sense of danger as they do now.”

Three of four American Muslims believe they are discriminated against and 50 percent believe it has become hard to be Muslim in the U.S. But the response to Islamophobia is more extreme in women than in Muslim-American men.

Muslim men in the U.S. are less worried and angry about Trump than Muslim women, 76 percent of whom say that Trump worries them. Almost 70 percent of Muslim women think that media coverage of Muslims is unfair while fewer Muslim men – 52 percent — think that is the case. More Muslim women think that people act as if they are suspicious of them compared with Muslim men.

“When we think about Islamophobia through a gendered lens, it’s not surprising that Muslim women report differently than men,” she said. “When we think about discrimination in general, it’s not applied evenly. We know sociologically that women experience more discrimination than men.”

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story contained a misspelling of Professor Bagby's name. It has been corrected.

Misha Euceph is a Pakistani-American radio maker. She is the creator of Beginner, a podcast about learning to belong as an immigrant in America. Beginner has been featured as one of Spotify's "Buzzworthy Podcasts," on NPR and in The Guardian. Misha's byline has appeared on NPR stations and in the Wall Street Journal.

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