By Madiha Tahseen, Ph.D., Sameera Ahmed, Ph.D., and Sawssan Ahmed, Ph.D.
Due to an increasingly divisive socio-political climate, bullying of American Muslim children and adolescents is on the rise and occurs across various contexts within their lives. The pervasiveness of bullying places American Muslim children at risk for poor mental health and development and increased engagement in risk behaviors. They also face challenges integrating into larger societal structures due to public devaluation of Islam and their minority status (Sirin & Fine, 2008). These challenges create an atmosphere in which American Muslim children and adolescents may feel misunderstood and isolated in different settings in their lives. They are often hard-pressed to understand the anti-Muslim sentiment in the broader geopolitical setting and feel powerless as agents of change, which can have drastic effects on their outcomes (Britto, 2008).
Given the challenges that American Muslim youth face, it is imperative to intervene from multiple avenues to buffer the impact of bullying and harassment. There is a growing recognition that those interested in supporting American Muslim youth development are often not equipped to provide the support that they need. To address this gap, this report (1) summarizes the research findings on bullying experiences of American Muslim children and (2) briefly provides recommendations and strategies for supporting their development.