Journal of Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences




Non-Muslims in the United States have openly expressed their opposition regarding Muslim Americans, which has led to the racial profiling and unequal treatment of Muslim Americans. Literature regarding the intolerance displayed by majority members indicates a need for further research that explores the point of view of minorities in the United States. Intolerance is defined as the refusal and unwillingness to respect or tolerate persons of a different social group or members of minority groups who hold beliefs contrary to one’s own. The intolerance displayed among members of different religious and cultural backgrounds can limit the ability to discover new information needed in promoting positive social change among Muslims and non-Muslims in the United States. Semistructured interviews were used to explore the social experiences of Muslim Americans of Palestinian descent in Cleveland, Ohio, regarding prejudice and discrimination displayed by non-Muslims. The theory of planned behavior and impression management theory were used as the framework for this study. Convenience and purposeful sampling were used to recruit the 10 participants chosen for this study. Template analysis, Giorgio’s psychological phenomenological method, and coding were used to analyze the data obtained from this study. Participants revealed experiencing prejudice and discrimination “everywhere” and “anywhere,” including verbal attacks and emotional distress. Participants also described the intolerance among Muslims and non-Muslims as “good and bad” or “it depends.” Information from this study can help in the development of social strategies that can be used to improve the interactions among Muslims and non-Muslims in United States.