Start the countdown! 10 facts ISPU discovered this decade
As we close out the last year of the 2010s, I can’t help but reflect on ISPU’s work over the last decade. I want to share some of the pieces of data we discovered during the last ten years that inspired change and started important conversations. From catalyzing a new summit, like our bullying research, to garnering extensive media coverage, like our research on ideologically motivated violence, to supporting community development across the nation, like our Reimagining Muslim Spaces project, this list is packed full of rigorous research that reached the right hands to make change. 

Since our work includes both qualitative and quantitative research, the pieces of research I’m sharing today range from incredibly precise to bold, overarching recommendations, and every place in between. 
10. A strong Muslim identity correlates with a strong American identity.
Our very first American Muslim Poll found that Muslims who say their faith is important to their identity are more likely to say being American is important to how they think of themselves (91 percent) than those who expressed a weak religious identity (68 percent). 
9. By an overwhelming margin, American Muslim women choose how they dress.
In our 2018 American Muslim Poll, ISPU asked American Muslim women why they wear an identifying religious symbol like hijab. 99 percent of respondents indicated personal reasons for wearing hijab, such as piety or the desire to be identified as a Muslim.
8. Mosques have strategies to become more welcoming, inclusive, and dynamic. 
Our Reimagining Muslim Spaces project used national surveys and extensive focus group interviews to investigate the phenomena of “unmosqued” Muslims. Our study revealed that the vast majority of American Muslim young adults, women, and converts are not alienated from Islam, but rather excited about mosques that are welcoming, inclusive, and dynamic. 
7. Alleged plots by defendants perceived to be Muslim receive 770% more media attention than other types of ideologically motivated violence.
Our 2018 Equal Treatment? report found that individuals perceived to be Muslim accused of a violent plot received more than seven times the media attention as their non-Muslim counterparts, despite similarities in their alleged crimes.
6. Muslims are one of the most likely groups in the United States to reject violence.
Despite what is often portrayed in the media, ISPU’s American Muslim Poll 2018 found that Muslims are more likely than other Americans to reject violence by the military or individuals against civilians. 
5. Muslim youth have unique needs that require unique solutions.
Young Muslims struggle with the same challenges as their peers in other faith groups, but face additional challenges because of their Muslim identity. To address the wide breadth of these obstacles, ISPU brought together practitioners and academics, imams, parents, local leaders and national figures, grandparents, and college students to craft practical recommendations that meet the needs of Muslim youth. 
4. American Muslims contribute to every sector of society.
In the state of Michigan alone, where Muslims make up only 2.75 percent of the population, Muslims contributed more than 1600 new inventions, medical care for 1.6 million patients, social services for 24,000 families, the education of 30,000 K-12 students, the creation of 100,000 jobs, $5.5 billion to its economy, the representation of 2.3 million constituents, and $117 million in charitable giving—all in just one year.
3. Legislators who pursue restrictive measures against American Muslims also target other vulnerable groups. 
As certain groups—historically marginalized for their race, ethnicity/national origin, gender, sexual orientation, civic affiliation, or religious beliefs—become more visible, it is evoking a backlash from some. Among legislators supporting anti-shariah or anti-“foreign law” bills in 2017, 85% also sponsored or co-sponsored other restrictive bills.
2. Muslim kids are the most likely to be bullied in school for their faith. 
Our 2017 American Muslim Poll found more than 1 in 3 Muslim families report bullying of their child in school because of their religion. In 1 in 4 of those cases involving Muslim students, a teacher or administrator was the bully. This piece of data jump-started the first ever National Interfaith Anti-Bullying Summit, which produced a list of recommendations to address religious-based bullying in schools holistically.
1. There are many ways to nurture healthy marriages and prevent divorce.
Our study on marriage and divorce demonstrated the interest and willingness of American Muslim religious leaders, married couples, divorcees, and mental health professionals to adapt and implement premarital education and marital interventions in their communities.
Thank you for your support throughout the last decade and beyond. We’re so excited to share with you more of what we discover about American Muslims and the social and political issues that impact them disproportionately in 2020

These facts are just a small sample of what we have discovered over the past ten years. You can explore our complete research archive in our online publication library.

December 29, 10 am-4 pm
McCormick Place
Chicago, IL

ISPU is coming to the 2019 MAS-ICNA Convention in Chicago! We hope you’ll come visit our sessions in RM S106 on Sunday, December 29—we’ll be there all day. Our sessions will cover research on Islamophobia, domestic violence, sexual abuse, civic engagement, and more discussed with a wide variety of panelists.
American Muslim Philanthropy:
A Data-Driven Comparative Profile
2019 Survey of MSA West Student Members:
Perseverance in the Face of Adversity
Dalia Mogahed

Thank you for reading our December research update! Want to learn more about our work? We are constantly posting about new research and upcoming events on our social media pages, so if you like what you learned here, take a minute to follow us on Facebook , Twitter , or  Instagram  to stay even more connected.
Dalia Mogahed
Director of Research
Institute for Social Policy and Understanding
ISPU produces research that seeks to build understanding, promote pluralism, and strengthen communities, but we cannot do so without your help. Please consider supporting us.
ISPU is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit research and education institute. Contributions are zakat-eligible and tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.
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