This report presents a national strategy that aims to arrive at a shared American understanding of Islam in which being Muslim carries a positive connotation, and in which Islam has an equal place among the many faiths which together constitute America’s pluralistic society. The strategy has four priority areas of focus:
- Advancing Islam’s principle of “be a benefit to humanity, avert harm from humanity” by enhancing Muslim involvement in the issues of other domestic communities which face challenges to full and equal protection and participation in society.
- Establishing in the public conscience that Islamophobia is identical to other forms of prejudice and undermines American ideals.
- Empowering a diverse range of legitimate voices to persuasively contribute, particularly in the news media, to the views of Islam and American Muslims within public dialogue.
- Enhancing community ability to impact U.S. political and policy life through public service, voting, and meaningful political contributions.
The report also examines Islamophobia in the United States and offers the following key findings:
Key Finding 1: Seventy-four (up from sixty-nine in 2013) groups are identified as comprising the U.S. Islamophobia network.
Key Finding 2: The U.S.-based Islamophobia network’s inner core is currently comprised of at least thirty-three groups whose primary purpose is to promote prejudice against, or hatred of, Islam and Muslims.
Key Finding 3: Between 2008 and 2013, inner-core organizations had access to at least $205,838,077 in total revenue.
Key Finding 4: An additional forty-one groups whose primary purpose does not appear to include promoting prejudice against or hatred of Islam and Muslims, but whose work regularly demonstrates or supports Islamophobic themes, make up the network’s outer core.
Key Finding 5: As of the writing of this report, anti-Islam bills are law in ten states. This is one-fifth of the nation. To date, however, none of these laws have been invoked in legal proceedings.
Key Finding 6: At least two states, Florida and Tennessee, have passed laws revising the way they approve textbooks for classroom use as a direct result of anti-Islam campaigns. In many instances, teachers simply informing students of the tenets of Islam’s central belief system generated backlash and allegations of attempts to indoctrinate students to become Muslims.
Key Finding 7: In 2015, there were 78 recorded incidents in which mosques were targeted; more incidents than ever reported in a single year since we began tracking these reports in 2009. Incidents in 2015 have more than tripled compared to the past two years in which there were only 22 mosque incidents reported in 2013 and 20 incidents in 2014. In fact, in both November and December of 2015, there were 17 mosque incidents reported during each of these months, numbers almost equivalent to an entire year’s worth of reports from the previous two years. Additionally, 2015 saw the largest number of cases in both the Damage/Destruction/Vandalism category as well as the Intimidation category.
Key Finding 8: Progress has been observed in the reduction in frequency and shrinking acceptability of anti-Islam law-enforcement trainings.
Key Finding 9: Two new phenomenon—Muslim-free businesses and armed anti-Islam demonstrations—raise deep concerns