Date of Conferral







Sandra Rasmussen


Opposition to Muslim Americans in the United States is openly expressed by majority members, which includes profiling and a recent presidential campaign proposing a “ban on Muslims.” There is a lack of qualitative studies in the United States that explore minorities’ point of view of about the tolerance displayed by majority members. Tolerance involves a degree of restraint about the disapproval and dislike of others of different religious, racial, political, and cultural backgrounds. This limits the ability to develop and implement appropriate policies that are needed to promote positive social change. In this phenomenological study, semistructured interviews were used to explore the lived experiences of 10 Palestinian Muslim Americans from Cleveland, Ohio, about the prejudice and discrimination they have experienced by non-Muslims. Impression management theory and the theory of planned behavior constituted the theoretical framework for this study. Purposeful and convenience sampling were used to recruit 10 participants. Data analysis used Giogio’s psychological phenomenological method, template analysis, and coding of emerging thematic categories. Findings revealed that the participants experienced prejudice and discrimination “anywhere” and “everywhere” by non-Muslims. These included verbal attacks and being treated differently, resulting in emotional distress. The tolerance between Muslims and non-Muslims was described as “good and bad” or “it depends.” Findings from this study may help in the development and implementation of social strategies that can promote positive social change among Muslims and non-Muslims in the United States.