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Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy

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Islamophobia -- United States


After the attacks on 9/11, Muslims in the United States were the targets of increased surveillance by law enforcement on the basis of their religious identity, often resulting in mistreatment and unjustified imprisonment. The current study examined ideologies that are associated with Islamophobia and support for police surveillance of Muslims, as well as specific types of intergroup threat perceptions that mediate these relationships. Participants (N = 603) completed a survey measuring Social Dominance Orientation (SDO), Right-wing Authoritarianism (RWA), Nationalism, intergroup threat perceptions, Islamophobia, and support for an anti-Muslim police surveillance policy. Results demonstrated that higher levels of SDO, RWA, and Nationalism were each independently associated with Islamophobia through increased realistic, symbolic, and terroristic threat perceptions. Further, higher levels of Islamophobia mediated the relationships between each type of perceived threat and support for a Muslim surveillance policy. This comprehensive model of anti-Muslim bias highlights the relative, independent effects of ideology and threat perceptions on anti-Muslim prejudice and discrimination. Findings hold implications for the use of threat-based language and stereotyping in policy decisions, particularly among those high in SDO, RWA, and Nationalism.


© 2022 the authors


This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy. 2335 Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy.



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