Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Thomas Kim

Reader 2

Vanessa Tyson

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Rights Information

Sofia Ahmed


U.S. state surveillance has historically targeted minority communities. Muslim Americans are a community that has been disproportionately surveilled by the U.S. government in recent years. I conducted in-depth interviews with fifteen Muslim American community leaders and students to analyze if Muslim Americans’ level of awareness of state-sponsored surveillance affects their willingness to express political opinions. My findings show that awareness of surveillance had a wide range of effects on Muslim Americans. For some individuals, knowledge of state surveillance made them more politically active and vocal about issues that affected their communities. For others, it deterred them from being politically vocal. Overall, my interview participants expressed that surveillance harmed political expression, community building, and organizing spaces for Muslim Americans.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.