The politicization of Muslims and national security policy
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Existing literature suggests evidence that American citizens have implicit and explicit biases against Muslims that influence or allow biased policies. In general, many of these biases stem from media framing, ethnic discrimination, and religious stereotypes. Some of these stereotypes associate Muslims with terrorism and violence, and public opinion research has concluded that Americans do not believe Muslims uphold American values. Thus, after 9/11, security policies against Muslims have resurfaced the question of suppressing individual liberties for the general welfare of all. My paper analyzes public opinion towards security legislation that discriminates against Muslims and examines how willing Americans are to support policies that infringe on civil liberties. My research poses three main questions: 1) Are opinions on national security influenced by the framing; 2) Does bias and ethnic-profiling make minorities more prone to support protection of civil liberties and 3) Are discriminatory policies against Muslims politicized by party affiliates? Using a survey, I found that framing the chosen policies to emphasize liberty or security had little influence on responses. Furthermore, I argue that, while literature suggests that minority groups tend lean pro-liberty relative to the White demographic, this concept is not substantial across all races when considering current Muslim-profiling policies. Finally, we find some evidence that ideology and ethnocentrism have become closely related factors after the 2016 Presidential Campaign, and that negative feelings of Muslims and national security policy have become more polarized than in the past.