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On Islamophobia and Anti-Arab Racism

About this Guide

This guide contains informational resources about and ways to combat Islamophobia and Anti-Arab racism, as well as resources from the City University of New York (CUNY) and the College of Staten Island (CSI) that can help support Muslim and Arabic students and faculty. 

Please contact the guide's creator, Ashley Dirzis at or if you have any comments, questions or recommendations. 

On Islamophobia and Anti-Arab Racism. A CSI Library Research Guide.

Definition of Islamophobia

According to the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project (IRDP) from the University of California Berkley, Islamophobia refers to " a contrived fear or prejudice... directed at a perceived or real Muslim threat through the maintenance and extension of existing disparities in economic, political, social and cultural relations, while rationalizing the necessity to deploy violence as a tool to achieve “civilizational rehab” of the target communities (Muslim or otherwise)." 

Islamophobia can come in many different forms including, but not limited to, violence, offensive language, and systemic bias. A common form of Islamophobia many individuals experience is microaggressions. According to Kevin L. Nadal's article, Subtle and Overt Forms of Islamophobia: Microaggressions toward Muslim Americans, some Islamophobic microaggressions include:

  1. Endorsing Religious Stereotypes: statements or behaviors that communicate false, presumptuous, or incorrect perceptions of certain religious groups (e.g., stereotyping that a Muslim person is a terrorist or that a Jewish person is cheap).
  2. Exoticization: instances where people view other religions as trendy or foreign (e.g., an individual who dresses in a certain religion’s garb or garments for fashion or pleasure).
  3. Pathology of Different Religious Groups: Statements and behaviors in which individuals equate certain religious practices or traditions as being abnormal, sinful, or deviant (e.g., telling someone that they are in the “wrong” religion).
  4. Assumption of One's Own Religious Identity as the Norm: Comments or behaviors that convey people’s presumption that their religion is the standard and behaves accordingly (e.g., greeting someone “Merry Christmas” or saying “God bless you” after someone sneezes conveys one’s perception that everyone is Christian or believes in God).
  5. Assumption of Religious Homogeneity: Statements in which individuals assume that every believer of a religion practices the same customs or has the same beliefs as the entire group (e.g., assuming that all Muslim people wear head coverings).
  6. Denial of Religious Prejudice: Incidents in which individuals claim that they are not religiously biased, even if their words or behaviors may indicate otherwise.

Please note that the curation of this research on Islamophobia was conducted by Librarian Diana Moronta and originally published on the New York Institute of Technology's Anti-Oppression LibGuide.

Events on Combatting Islamophpbia

The College of Staten Island is hosting a workshop titled, "Understanding Muslim Experiences and Combating Anti-Muslim Bias," presented by the NYC Commission on Human Rights. The event will take place Tuesday, April 16th, from 10 am - 12 pm in the Conference Room located in 1A- 406 and discuss best practices for combatting Islamophobia and working with Muslim communities and colleagues. Register for this event before April 15, 2024 to attend.

Resources for Requesting Religious Exemptions