The current study addresses perceived discrimination among South Asian Muslim women living in the United States (US) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). US participants reported greater perceptions of discrimination than UAE participants. In both countries, perceived discrimination mainly took the form of subtle nuances rather than direct harassment. Although participants reported the greatest intensity of perceived discrimination at work, hijabis (women who wear the Islamic headscarf) felt this more than non-hijabis. Conversely, non-hijabis felt greater intensity of discrimination in social spaces within Muslim contexts than hijabis. Despite feeling most comfortable socializing with either Muslims or South Asians, participants felt that, aside from strangers, their greatest sources of perceived discrimination also came from within their religious or cultural groups. Discussion of perceived discrimination touches upon the social aspects of being a South Asian Muslim in a Western secular context and a globalized Islamic one.

Author Biography

Dr. Nausheen Pasha-Zaidi is an Assistant Professor of General Studies at the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi. Her research interests address the psychology of international populations with an emphasis on Muslim communities.