A new study released by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) offers data on predicting and preventing Islamophobia as well as valuable insight into how Islamophobia will shape the 2020 election.
The first key takeaway from the ISPU study is that Islamophobia is on the rise, especially in specific groups. Charting five negative stereotypes about Muslims, ISPU analysts documented an increase in the Islamophobia index from 24 in 2018 to 28 in 2019.
But these numbers skew radically by faith group. Jews score the lowest in Islamophobic attitudes while white evangelicals score the highest. Fifty-three percent of Jews report having positive views of Muslims with only 13 percent reporting negative views. As many as 44 percent of white evangelicals hold unfavorable opinions about Muslims, which is twice as many as those who hold favorable opinions (20 percent).
Even more interesting were the ISPU’s findings regarding the Muslim Ban. They found that for most voters a candidate’s approval of the ban is a negative. Sixty-one percent of Muslims, 53 percent of Jews, and 56 percent of non-affiliated Americans report that a candidate’s endorsement of the Muslim Ban would actually decrease their support for that individual.
And yet, with white evangelicals it is a different story. In fact, 44 percent say a candidate’s endorsement of the ban would increase their approval. But here is the real surprise: even though white evangelicals are the one group most likely to support this policy, the overall majority either indicated that support for the ban either decreased their interest (19 percent) or made no difference to them (37 percent).
These findings indicate that the Muslim Ban plays only to a vocal minority, even among White Evangelical voters.