AbstractsLaw & Legal Studies


Islamophobic sentiments in the Western world have gained scientific attention, particularly since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. However, the effects of religious stigma on Muslim minorities’ identity formation have rarely been studied. By using structural equation modeling, this cross-sectional study examined direct and indirect effects of different forms of religious stigma on the national affiliation of 210 Norwegian-Pakistani and 216 German-Turkish Muslims. Furthermore, this study addressed whether religious identity would act as a mediator. All in all, the results suggest that being a Muslim seems less irreconcilable with affiliating with the nation in Norway than in Germany. However, across the samples, the results indicate that various forms of religious stigma affect Muslims’ national identity and engagement in the public and private sphere in distinct ways. These effects were both positive and negative, differed substantially between the two samples, and were mediated by the participants’ religious identity only in the German sample. Hence, the findings indicate that the ways in which religious stigma influences Muslims’ national affiliation seem to be highly context and culture bound.