Muslims accused of plotting violent acts are roughly seven times more likely to get media coverage and three times more likely to receive longer sentences than their non-Muslim counterparts, according to a new report from the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding called “Equal Treatment?”
The report looked specifically at print coverage by the Washington Post and the New York Times and found that labels like “terrorist” are employed far more by media and government bodies for Muslims than for non-Muslims. When it comes to non-Muslim or white perpetrators, news outlets were far more likely to spend time covering their mental health, their family background and other “humanizing elements,” said Dalia Mogahed, research director for ISPU.
And even when their attempted crimes are similar in scale, Muslims receive longer sentences—partly because they’re more likely to be charged with having weapons of mass destruction, which they more often than not are able to obtain with the help of federal informants.
The Justice Department was also found to be six times more likely to issue a press release when a Muslim was accused of plotting an attack.