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Religious Nationalism and Perceptions of Muslims and Islam

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 June 2015

Allyson F. Shortle*
The University of Oklahoma
Ronald Keith Gaddie*
The University of Oklahoma
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Allyson F. Shortle, Department of Political Science, The University of Oklahoma, 205 Dale Hall Tower, Norman, OK 73019. E-mail:; or Ronald Keith Gaddie, Department of Political Science, The University of Oklahoma, 205 Dale Hall Tower, Norman, OK 73019. E-mail:
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Allyson F. Shortle, Department of Political Science, The University of Oklahoma, 205 Dale Hall Tower, Norman, OK 73019. E-mail:; or Ronald Keith Gaddie, Department of Political Science, The University of Oklahoma, 205 Dale Hall Tower, Norman, OK 73019. E-mail:


We test for relationships between anti-Muslim attitudes and opinion and competing religious identity and religious belief variables in an evangelical Christian constituency. Original survey data from a statewide sample of 508 likely voters in Oklahoma are subjected to a robust regression analysis to determine (1) indicators of holding Christian nationalist beliefs and (2) the relationship between belief measures of Christian nationalism, evangelical Christian identity, and subsequent anti-Muslim sentiment. Christian nationalism is more prevalent among self-identified evangelicals. Christian nationalist beliefs and strong belief in Biblical literalism are significantly related to negative and restrictive views of Muslims. Anti-Muslim sentiments in the form of general disapproval and the desire to limit Muslim worship are shaped more by beliefs than identities or behaviors. Evangelical self-identification does not help us disentangle domestic opinion regarding Muslims as well as measures that disentangle beliefs from identity.

Copyright © Religion and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association 2015 

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