Intolerance of Islam reflected in endorsements of religious belief statements

Kevin R Reeder, Tennessee State University


The present study addresses attitudes of prejudice toward Muslims that are perceived to exist in the United States. Christian in-group attitudes' toward belief statements representative of the Muslim faith were examined that have conceptual similarities with statements representative of the Christian faith. Participants were self-identified Christians and citizens of the United States (N = 258), randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions that asked them to endorse belief statements identified as either Christian, Muslim or Religious. It was found that (1) respondents assigned to the condition of the study rating Muslim beliefs endorsed these beliefs less favorably than the group responding to Christian beliefs; (2) participants in the group that responded to the belief statements presented in the format that lists all belief statements under the heading “Religious Belief Statements” were more likely to favorably endorse statements of the Muslim faith; (3) contrary to expected findings, self-identified Christian participants who displayed higher levels of right-wing authoritarianism did not respond more negatively toward Muslim belief statements in all conditions of the study; and (4) no self-identified Christian participants that rated higher in Christian orthodoxy (but not authoritarianism) were found in the sample to test the fourth hypothesis. This research holds significance for the field of counseling psychology in the areas of awareness of client biases and potential therapist biases. It is important to recognize the basis of these thought processes and the potential consequences of prejudicial attitudes towards members of one's community.

Subject Area

Psychotherapy|Religion|Social psychology

Recommended Citation

Kevin R Reeder, "Intolerance of Islam reflected in endorsements of religious belief statements" (2005). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3187602.