Islam is the New Black: Muslim Perceptions of Law Enforcement

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date

April 2017

Faculty Sponsor

Cody Jorgensen


Although many studies have investigated minority discrimination in the criminal justice system, only a small portion focuses on the Islamic community. Hostility towards the Islamic community has, unfortunately, been on the rise in the United States since the attacks of 9/11. Current Middle Eastern conflicts have led to an influx of Muslim refugees into the US. This increase has further diversified neighborhoods; therefore, it is just as imperative to explore police-Muslim interactions as it is to explore police interactions with other marginalized groups. Healthy police-community relationships are important for an effective police department, and it is the central idea behind community-oriented policing. The present study asked: how do Muslim community members perceive the police, and how do their interactions with police affect their perceptions of law enforcement? A survey distributed to a sample of Muslim community members in a mid-sized city in the Northwest measured their perceptions of police. A snowball sampling method was used, facilitated by a prominent member of the Muslim community. 27 participants took the survey.

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