Investigating the psychology of Islamophobia among Muslims: The Perceived Islamophobia Scale


“Islamophobia”, often defined as fear and anxiety towards Muslims and Islam, has received increasing attention in social scientific research. While a lot of research has investigated factors explaining Islamophobia among non-Muslims, little research has investigated how Muslim themselves perceive Islamophobia in their societies and in the media. This motivated us to to conduct a series of studies, in which we showed that perceptions of Islamophobia are related to Muslims’ psychological well-being and the degree to which they identify with their religious, ethnic and national groups. As part of this, we have developed a psychometric scale to measure perceptions of Islamophobia. This scale we have validated among Muslims living in the United Kingdom, France and Germany. Moreover, while the scale was originally developed to assess perceptions of Islamophobia among Muslims, some ongoing work has shown that it also can be used to measure such perceptions among non-Muslims. Indeed, in a very interesting research project conducted by Miriam Schwarzenthal, Ursula Moffitt, Jana Vietze and Sauro Civitillo (read about their project on their research blog here), the scale is currently used to measure perceived Islamophobia in a large range of German schools with Muslim and non-Muslim student populations. The scale is free to be used and validated translations can be found below. The scaling format is typically a 7-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (totally disagree) to 7 (totally agree).

Article to cite when using the scale:

Kunst, J. R., Sam, D. L., & Ulleberg, P. (2013). Perceived Islamophobia: Scale development and validation. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 37(2), 225-237. [PDF]


  • 1. Many Germans avoid Muslims.
    2. Germans are suspicious of Muslims.
    3. In general, Germans trust Muslims.*
    4. Overall, only few Germans are afraid of Islam.*
    5. Most Germans feel safe among Muslims.*
    6. Many Germans get nervous in the presence of Muslims.
    7. A lot of Germans are afraid that Muslims are going to take over Germany.
    8. Many Germans fear an “islamization” of Germany.
    9. A lot of Germans consider Islam a threat to German values.
    10. German media always presents Muslims as dangerous people.
    11. Islam is always presented as a threat to German culture in the media.
    12. German media spreads a lot of fear of Muslims and Islam.
    General fear: item 1–6; Fear of islamization: item 7–9; Islamophobia in the media: item 10–12.
    * Reversed item.

  • 1. Beaucoup de Français évitent les Musulmans.
    2. Les Français se méfient des Musulmans.
    3. En général, les Français font confiance aux Musulmans.*
    4. Globalement, seulement quelques Français ont peur des Musulmans.*
    5. La plupart des Français se sentent en sécurité parmi les Musulmans.*
    6. Beaucoup de Français deviennent nerveux en présence de Musulmans.
    7. Beaucoup de Français ont peur que les Musulmans vont dominer la France.
    8. Beaucoup de Français craignent une “islamisation” de la France.
    9. Beaucoup de gens considèrent l’Islam comme une menace aux valeurs françaises.
    10. Les médias français présentent toujours les Musulmans comme des gens dangereux.
    11. L’Islam est toujours présenté comme une menace à la culture française dans les médias.
    12. Les médias français diffusent beaucoup de peur des Musulmans et de l’Islam.

  • 1. Viele Deutsche gehen Muslimen aus dem Weg.
    2. Die Deutschen sind misstrauisch gegenüber Muslimen.
    3. Im Allgemeinen vertrauen die Deutschen den Muslimen.*
    4. Insgesamt haben nur wenige Deutsche Angst vor dem Islam.*
    5. Die meisten Deutschen fühlen sich sicher unter Muslimen.*
    6. Viele Deutsche werden in der Nähe von Muslimen nervös.
    7. Viele Deutsche haben Angst, dass Muslime Deutschland übernehmen werden.
    8. Viele Deutsche fürchten eine “Islamisierung” Deutschlands.
    9. Eine Menge Menschen sehen den Islam als eine Bedrohung für deutsche Werte an.
    10. Die deutschen Medien stellen Muslime immer als gefährliche Menschen dar.
    11. In den Medien wird der Islam immer als eine Bedrohung für die deutsche Kultur dargestellt.
    12. Die deutschen Medien verbreiten eine Menge Angst vor Muslimen und dem Islam.

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