Islamophobia and Public Health in the United States

Am J Public Health. 2016 Nov;106(11):1920-1925. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2016.303374. Epub 2016 Sep 15.


Anti-Muslim sentiments are increasingly common globally and in the United States. The recent rise in Islamophobia calls for a public health perspective that considers the stigmatized identity of Muslim Americans and health implications of Islamophobic discrimination. Drawing on a stigma, discrimination, and health framework, I expand the dialogue on the rise of Islamophobia to a discussion of how Islamophobia affects the health of Muslim Americans. Islamophobia can negatively influence health by disrupting several systems-individual (stress reactivity and identity concealment), interpersonal (social relationships and socialization processes), and structural (institutional policies and media coverage). Islamophobia deserves attention as a source of negative health outcomes and health disparities. Future public health research should explore the multilevel and multidimensional pathways between Islamophobia and population health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Islam / psychology*
  • Prejudice / psychology*
  • Public Health*
  • Social Stigma*
  • United States