Rachel Gillum

Department of Political Science

Muslim-American Integration, Alienation and Government Relations in the Post-9/11 Environment


With data from the lab, my project is able to examine what segments of the Muslim American community are most likely to assist law enforcement in counterterrorism policing and what segments are sympathetic to radicalism and why.  The data suggest that some counterterrorism policies have inadvertently marginalized segments of the Muslim American population.  Muslims who perceive unfair treatment by the American government feel threatened and less attached to the country, ultimately leading some to view the government and its actions as illegitimate. These factors combine to reduce individuals propensity to participate in formal political processes and diminishes their willingness to cooperate with law enforcement. This in combination with extreme marginalization and ethnic discrimination appears to open individuals up to illegal or even violent political activity, rather than religious affiliation. Those who lack a sense of American identity and have weak social ties are the most likely to be open to radicalization.  U.S. military activities overseas that are viewed as unfair and illegitimate further contribute to a lack of cooperation and increasing distrust.  This project provides important insight to the perspectives of the Muslim American community, allowing scholars and policymakers to better understand.