ISPU Publishes Groundbreaking Study on Bay Area Muslims 

The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) published The Bay Area Muslim Study: Establishing Identity and Community this past May. This study pioneers groundbreaking data on the political and civic engagement and overall sense of identity for Muslims in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dr Farid Senzai and Dr Hatem Bazian authored this study to promote understanding between American Muslims and non-Muslims in their local communities.

The Islamic Scholarship Fund shares concern over many of the issues outlined in this study. For example, among key findings noted, American-Muslim civic engagement was especially discussed. While the majority of the surveyed audience said they had participated in efforts of civic engagement, many admitted that greater involvement from both themselves and their communities is hindered by a lack of well-organized or broad-based Muslim organizations in the United States.

Among these and other participants, there was a strong agreement that American Muslims must become more active in politics, voicing concerns over American policies and maintaining dialogue about social and political problems.

The study also highlighted several external and internal challenges these communities face, including controversial media portrayals of American Muslims and its detrimental impact on the Muslim identity. Investing in professional development and training, actively challenging anti-Muslim narratives in the United States and encouraging a broad vision for success were a few of the ideas offered to facilitate overcoming this and other challenges faced by Muslim communities.

Through this and other efforts, the Islamic Scholarship Fund hopes that innovations within these  communities will encourage new ideas in matters of media, civic and political engagement, and all other fields in which American Muslims are underrepresented. It is our goal that such work will continue to promote both tolerance and an accurate understanding of Islamic values in the United States. 

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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