The Othering & Belonging Institute has long believed that the frame of “Othering and Belonging” provides a critical perspective to achieve our common objective of building a more inclusive and equitable society.

In response to the experiences of Muslim Americans and the Muslim community at large, we seek to counteract all forms of Othering, discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance in order to expose the power structures that generate them, in order to foster hope for more inclusive societies.

Our Islamophobia project aims to provide cutting-edge research and tools for narrative production, awareness raising, community engagement, and policy interventions to understand and challenge the social, political, and legal mechanisms used to demonize and Other Muslims in the United States.

Since 9/11, two major shifts occurred in the US with regards to the phenomenon of Othering Muslims. First, Islamophobia became the operationalizing tool to single out Muslims, and the religion of Islam writ large, based on the actions of individual deviants, shifting the blame of a few to be absorbed by all Muslims. Secondly, there was a shift from "lone-wolf" or individual acts against Muslims to more organized and well-financed efforts at institutionalizing and legalizing Islamophobia.

Our project seeks to unmask the multiplicities of Islamophobia in the US that is influencing the legal, political, and social landscapes across the globe, ranging from anti-Muslim legislation to the rising tide of coordinated anti-Muslim campaigns. For example, The United States of Islamophobia Database is a comprehensive research depository that identifies and provides detailed information on all anti-Sharia legislation introduced in the 50 US state legislatures since 2010; the Legalizing Othering research report addresses the anti-Sharia movement in the United States and the attempts to legalize Othering of Muslim communities across the nation; and the Islamophobia Reading Resource Pack, which provides a reading resource on the study of Islamophobia in the United States.

This work is developed to document and counter the effects of Islamophobia.


Media Coverage

April 2, 2018:Legalizing Othering” (The Bridge Initiative)

Feb. 14, 2018: "Trump's travel ban is just one of many US policies that legalize discrimination against Muslims"  (Salon)

Jan. 29, 2018: "Trump's travel ban is just one of many US policies that legalize discrimination against Muslims"  (The Conversation)

Dec. 30, 2017: "Anti-sharia laws proliferate as Trump strikes hostile tone toward Muslims" (The Guardian)

Oct. 1, 2017: "Are 'anti-Sharia' bills legalising Islamophobia?" (Al Jazeera English)

Sept. 2017: "Legalizing Otheirng: The United States of Islamophobia" (The Journalist

Sept. 14, 2017: "The legalization of Islamophobia is underway in the United States" (Quartz)

Sept. 13, 2017: "From 9/11 to hate groups: The economic marginalisation of the West’s Muslims" (Middle East Eye)

Sept. 11, 2017: "Anti-Sharia Movement in the US" (The Daily Sabah)

Sept. 8, 2017: "Meet the Man Turning Anti-Muslim Hate Into Law" (The Daily Beast)

Sept. 8, 2017: "New Study reveals alarming reach, influence of US Islamophobia movement" (Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society)