A new report released last week by several scholars from four universities confirms the experiences that El-Sayed and other Muslim candidates across the U.S. faced during the 2018 political campaigns. Titled "#Islamophobia, Stoking Fear and Prejudice in the 2018 Midterms," the 97-page report details the hatred that 166 Muslim political candidates in the U.S. endured during the midterm elections.
Six Muslim candidates from Michigan completed the survey the researchers sent out to Muslim candidates, said one of the report's authors, Western Washington University associate professor of journalism Brian Bowe.
"What’s important here is not simply that someone like Rashida Tlaib is the target of online Islamophobic, xenophobic and misogynist rhetoric, it’s that Twitter makes it easy for bad actors to amplify this rhetoric, which then spills over into news coverage," Bowe told the Free Press. "Some of the most active Twitter conversation about Rep. Tlaib came from far outside the 13th District, as we saw from the thousands of tweets tagging both her and Rep. Omar. This kind of disinformation infrastructure may disrupt and distort local debates over which candidate would best serve the needs of constituents, posing a danger for democracy."