American Muslim Poll 2020

07 Oct 2020


On October 1st, we published American Muslim Poll 2020: Amid Pandemic and Protest, the fifth annual poll of attitudes and policy preferences on issues concerning American Muslims across faith and non-faith groups. (And there's still time to register for our webinar on civic engagement today!) This nationally representative survey includes groundbreaking data on Americans who are Muslim, Jewish, Protestant, Catholic, white Evangelicals, and non-affiliated. This research will inform journalists, policymakers, advocates, organizers, educators, and the general public for years to come.

ISPU’s American Muslim Polls have explored civic engagement, Islamophobia, faith, community, and more to reveal a national portrait of America’s most diverse faith community: Muslims. And, with five years of research to draw from, we can share how that community is changing.

Each ISPU poll looks at American Muslim civic engagement. We found American Muslim voter registration is increasing. Although American Muslim voter registration still lags behind other faith communities, it continues to climb, jumping from 60% to 78% in 5 years. Thinking about this another way, the proportion of eligible Muslim voters not registered to vote has dropped by about half from 39% in 2016 to 21% in 2020.

Our polls have also looked at Islamophobia from a variety of angles, including how different faith groups view American Muslims. We found Jewish opinions of Muslims in particular have steadily improved. ISPU’s Islamophobia Index measures the level of anti-Muslim sentiment in faith and non-faith communities on a 1-100 scale. Among Jewish Americans, Islamophobia declined steadily from a score of 22 in 2018 to a score of 18 in 2019, to a score of 16 in 2020.

We also look at experiences of religious discrimination. We’ve discovered the proportion of American Muslims who report religious discrimination is holding steady. Over the past five years, a consistent 60%-62% of American Muslims report facing discrimination because of their faith, the highest percentage of any faith group measured in recent years.

New in 2020, we asked about where the religious discrimination occurred. More than any other group that experiences religious discrimination, Muslims do so on an institutional, not just interpersonal, level. This includes at the airport, when applying for a job, when interacting with law enforcement, and when receiving healthcare.

We’ve studied how discrimination impacts kids, too, and found American Muslim kids are still being bullied at high rates. We asked parents of school-aged children whether their child had been bullied at school for their faith. In 2017, 42% of Muslim families experienced religious-based bullying, compared with just 10% of the general public. In 2020, 51% of families report bullying, compared with 27% of the general public. For Muslim children, nearly a third of bullying cases involved a teacher or other school official as the bully.

And our polls have analyzed how American faith groups feel about important social issues. We found Muslims are the most likely faith group to support Black Lives Matter. In 2017, we asked Americans about their level of support for the movement. Compared with 45% of the general public, a full two thirds of Muslims expressed support for Black Lives Matter, the highest percentage of any faith group we measured. In 2020, Muslims are the most likely faith group surveyed to favor their faith community building alliances with Black Lives Matter. Nearly two-thirds of Muslims (65%) favor such political coalition-building, compared with 44% of the general public.

There's so much more to share about our 2020 American Muslim Poll. Please join us at our four webinars deep-diving various topics alongside esteemed panels of guests, the first of which begins October 1st at 3 p.m. EDT.

· October 1 @ 3 p.m. EDT - Civic Engagement
· October 8 @ 3 p.m. EDT - Islamophobia
· October 15 @ 3 p.m. EDT - Political Coalition Building
· October 22 @ 3 p.m. EDT - Discrimination and Bullying

Event Date: 
Thursday, October 8, 2020 (All day) to Thursday, October 22, 2020 (All day)
Sponsored By: 
Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU)