Banner illustration is by Chicago-based illustrator and designer Shirien Damra.

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 are influencing the legal, political, and social landscapes across the globe, ranging from anti-Muslim legislation to the rising tide of coordinated anti-Muslim campaigns.

Our newest project, the groundbreaking national survey Islamophobia Through the Eyes of Muslims seeks to paint a detailed picture of the prevalence of Islamophobia across the US.

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

The Persistence of Prejudice: The State of Islamophobia in America (The Click) | May 1, 2023

A UC Berkeley study explores Islamophobia 20 years post 9/11 (KALW) | Nov. 18, 2021

Ilhan Omar Urges Creation Of Special Envoy Role To Combat Global Anti-Muslim Hate (HuffPost) | Oct. 21, 2021

Islamophobia undermines and weakens U.S. Muslim women’s rights (SF Examiner) | Oct. 18, 2021

More Women Are Targets of Xenophobic Hate (Richmond Pulse) | Oct. 13, 2021

UC Berkeley survey finds most Muslim Americans face discrimination (DailyCal) | Oct. 5, 2021

NST Leader: United States of Islamophobia (New Straits Times) | Oct. 2, 2021

Over Two-Thirds Of Muslim Americans Have Faced Islamophobia, New Survey Finds (HuffPost) | Oct. 1, 2021

Majority of US Muslims have experienced Islamophobia, poll finds (Middle East Eye) | Oct. 1, 2021

More than two-thirds of US Muslims have experienced Islamophobia, poll finds (The New Arab) | Oct. 1, 2021

Islamophobia is a ‘very big problem’ most likely to affect women (The Muslim Vibe) | Oct. 1, 2021

Over two-thirds of US Muslims experience Islamophobia: Survey (Anadolu) | Sept. 30, 2021

Berkeley survey: Majority of Muslim Americans face Islamophobia, especially women (San Francisco Chronicle) | Sept. 29, 2021

Muslim women more likely than men to experience Islamophobia, survey finds (Religion News Service) | Sept. 29, 2021

The Latest Attack on Islam: It’s Not a Religion (The New York Times) | Sept. 27, 2018:

Legalizing Othering (The Bridge Initiative) | April 2, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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