Americans’ acceptance of Muslims has continued to deteriorate since 9/11, research finds, and Muslim Americans have responded with resilience but also depression and anxiety. Amer, Ph D, in an article about the mental health of Muslim and Arab Americans' mental health in 2006, the publicity didn't just bring kudos from her colleagues. "I received all these emails from people who were very upset because the story was a little sympathetic toward Muslims and Arabs," says Amer, now an assistant professor of psychology at the American University of Cairo. 8 Print version: page 72 highlighted research by psychologist Mona M.
Determining 9/11's impact on Muslims in the United States is difficult, says Amer, because there's no baseline.
"Arab-Americans were traumatized three-fold," says Abu-Ras, citing the devastation of the attack itself, the backlash from individuals and new government policies targeting this population, such as the Patriot Act. 2), Abu-Ras and a co-author conducted focus groups with a small, non-random sample drawn from a community in Brooklyn to assess 9/11's impact on Arab New Yorkers.
That trauma only added to people's existing trauma, says Abu-Ras. Participants—all but four of them Muslim—revealed fear of hate crimes and threats to their safety, anxiety about the future, isolation and loss of community and stigmatization. In a 2009 study of 102 New York Muslims published in (Vol. 3), she and a co-author found that hate-fueled incidents were common.
The results should be interpreted with caution, say the authors, noting that the use of English and an Internet-based methodology may have skewed the sample toward younger, better educated and more affluent participants.
But the results are especially striking given Arab-Americans' reluctance to admit mental health problems, says Amer.