Focus of the Research

About 1 in 10 students in New York City’s public schools is Muslim—nearly 100,000 in all—yet they remain one of the most misunderstood segments of the student population.

Recent studies of non-Muslim teenagers suggest that religious commitment and involvement are linked to positive self-esteem, better than average academic achievement, and positive social and civic attitudes. But can the same be said for Muslim teens who, since the events of 9/11, often see the public school environment, and society more broadly, as Islamophobic or intolerant of their religious and ethnic identities?

With generous funding from the Ford Foundation, the Muslim Youth in NYC Public Schools Study is the first of its kind to represent the views of Muslim teens in a major American city. The study is directed by Dr. Louis Cristillo, research assistant professor at Teachers College Columbia University.