August 31, 2016

The Impact of the Presidential Election on American Muslims

by Bonnie Eissner
Wahiba Abu-Ras

Wahiba Abu-Ras, Ph.D., associate professor

With the 2016 presidential election in full swing, concern is growing over the mental health of Muslims in the United States, who have been the targets of bitter rhetoric. Wahiba Abu-Ras, Ph.D., associate professor in the Adelphi University School of Social Work, is studying the issue and finding cause for alarm.

In July, Dr. Abu-Ras, who has extensive experience studying Muslims’ mental health, and her collaborators, Zulema Suarez, Ph.D., and Adelphi M.S.W. student Vivian Storm launched a survey to gauge the impact of Islamophobia during the 2016 election campaign. As of mid-August, more than 500 qualified participants had responded to the survey, and their responses were telling.

A significant majority—93 percent—reported experiencing “some” or “extreme” negative impact from the campaign. Slightly less than half—47 percent—said they felt “somewhat safe” being Muslim in the United States. The majority—53 percent—reported feeling “very” or “extremely” unsafe.

An article by Josh Keefe in the Observer, published in early August, reported Dr. Abu-Ras’ preliminary findings. “There’s a lot of fear,” Dr. Abu-Ras told the reporter.

» Read the full Observer article.


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