Muslims like many other marginalized racial, ethnic, and religious communities face racism, bigotry and prejudice. Yet Muslims in addition also face Islamophobia (also known as anti-Muslim racism) which is an exaggerated fear, hatred, and hostility towards Islam and Muslims. Islamophobia is perpetuated by negative stereotypes resulting in bias, discrimination, and the marginalization and exclusion of Muslims from social, political, and civic life.

Although anti-Muslim racism is not a new phenomenon it has increased over the last several decades in the U.S. Islamophobia manifests on an individual and institutional level. It can include physical acts of violence towards Muslims, the destruction of mosques or Muslim owned businesses, discrimination in employment, or negative stereotyping of Muslims.

Islamophobia also manifests on an institutional level and can take the form of anti-Muslim policies or practices by government bodies. Such as, the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program or the racial profiling and surveillance of Muslim communities by law enforcement. It can also include, Islamophobic rhetoric by politicians to justify U.S. foreign policy in Muslim-majority countries. Discrimination, racism, and Islamophobia have far-reaching negative effects on ethnic and religious minority groups in the U.S.