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Focus of the Research

Through a combination of phone interviews, focus groups, and ethnographic fieldwork, The Muslim Youth in NYC Public Schools Study explores the intersection of religious and civic identities:

  1. How does the school climate impact studentsí self-esteem and affect their academic achievement?
  2. Are Muslim teens as susceptible to religious doubting as youth from other faith groups?
  3. What role does religiosity play in how they cope or bounce back from stress or problems?
  4. How do Muslim teens express their sense of citizenship and what value do they give to civic and political engagement in American society today?

Goals of the Study

The scholarly mission of Muslim Youth in NYC Public Schools Study has three major goals:

  1. To raise critical awareness among educational policy makers, school administrators, classroom teachers, and educational researchers about the complex factors that shape identity and lives of Muslim youth in New York City public schools;
  2. To enhance the sensitivity and effectiveness of school personnel, city agencies and private community organizations who work with Muslim youth, especially in regards to school counseling, multicultural education, conflict resolution, and curriculum development; and,
  3. To advance the comparative study of religiosity among youth in public schools and thus contribute knowledge about its relationship to coping, resiliency, academic achievement, and civic identity, especially among youth of minority religions in the USA today.


  1. Telephone Survey: 320 Muslim students; 230 non-Muslim students; 80 Muslim students in private Muslim schools
  2. Focus Groups: Muslim teenagers; adult stakeholders; Muslim young adults (working/college)
  3. Ethnographic interviews with students from selected schools