Countering Islamophobia Over Time

This map illustrates how American Muslim communities have responded to the increasing presence of anti-Muslim hostility in American public life over time. Each dot on this map represents something that American Muslim individuals and American Muslim communities have done to counter anti-Muslim attitudes and activity. This includes a variety of kinds of community outreach, such as open mosque events, “ask a Muslim” events, interfaith initiatives, and public presentations about Islam, that have the express purpose of “humanizing” Muslims for the broader American public.

Sometimes community outreach efforts consist of activities that American Muslims do simply because they are striving to be good people—distributing water in Flint, Michigan; opening mosques to shelter people after natural disasters; operating soup kitchens—but in today’s climate these efforts also signify something else. The second set of data also includes instances of American Muslims running for political office, which typically entails a good deal of outreach efforts not expected of candidates from other faiths (or no particular or visible faith), and instances of political outreach, when American Muslims and American Muslim communities seek the support of elected officials.

We have made the difficult editorial decision to not include the amazing work that scholars and professional advocacy organizations do on a daily basis, a decision we made to highlight the work of those for whom “humanizing work” often comes on top of jobs and other responsibilities.

Taken together, all of these activities, directly or indirectly, “humanize” American Muslims. The data we have gathered and that we present in this map, when set alongside information about Islamophobia, provides insight into how American Muslims are responding to the presence of anti-Muslim hate in public life. To illustrate the connection between Islamophobia (or anti-Muslim hostility) in public life and American Muslim efforts to counter hate in American life, we include our map of Islamophobic incidents (again) just below.

The scroll bar at the bottom of the map allows you to see where you are in time, pause the map, scroll through time manually, or isolate a moment in time. In the upper right-hand corner of the scroll bar will you find a number followed the word “Selected.” This is the number of events/incidents that appear on the map. We currently have complete (if not exhaustive) data from 2008 through 2020.

By clicking on the buttons below the map, you will find links to additional maps to help you dig into the data: we have interactive maps of Humanizing Activity by activity type and by year.