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Dr. Sarah Shah

MiCDI Data Team

Sarah Shah (they/them) received a doctoral degree in 2019 from The University of Toronto in Sociology. Shah’s research includes analyses of religion as it pertains to gender attitudes, family organization, mental health outcomes, and group identity. By interrogating the nuances of religiosity, including identities, practices, and approaches, Shah's research unpacks how religion dialectically structures and is structured by gender and family relations, immigration and racialization processes, and mental health.

At the Institute of Islamic Studies, Shah is working with a team of leading researchers on the Muslims in Canada Data Initiative. This Initiative aims to address the dire lack of data on Canadian Muslims and their sociodemographic characteristics, socioeconomic outcomes, and social experiences in everyday life. Along with a robust panel of international scholars, the Initiative is supported by collaborations and partnerships with several Canadian Muslim community organizations.

Shah is cross appointed as a faculty member at the Department of Sociology, The University of Toronto Mississauga.

Current Projects:

The Survey of Muslims in Canada

The Islamophobia Index

Theorizing Islamophobia

Recent Publications:

Shah, Sarah. Religious Reflexivity. Forthcoming. In Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam in North America, edited by Amir Hussain. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  


Shah, Sarah, and Maryam Khan. Forthcoming. The Impact of Islamophobia on Sexually and Gender Diverse Muslims in Canada. In Systemic Islamophobia, edited by Anver Emon. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.  


Shah, Sarah. Forthcoming. Blurred and Bright Boundaries: Immigrant Reflexive Appraisals of Home and Host Religions and Cultures. In Emerging South Asian Feminisms: Critical Canadian Perspectives. Editors: Amina Jamal, Jane Ku and Maryam Khan. 


Shah, Sarah. Forthcoming. Honouring Shame: An Embodied Experience of Queering Islam. In TAKLIF-DHIBAATO: LGBTQ+ Muslim Expressions of Madness, Love, Resistance, & Care, edited by Rahim Thawer, Lali Muhammad, and Maryam Khan. 


Shah, Sarah, and Maryam Khan. 2023. The Search for Ethics in Research: Learning from Non-binary, Queer, and Trans Muslims. In Reading Sociology: Decolonizing Canada, edited by Johanne Jean-Pierre et al. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  


Shah, Sarah. 2022. Black and White or Shades of Grey: Religious Approaches and Muslim Marital Conflict. Social Compass. 69(1): 113-132.


Shah, Sarah. 2022. Voices that Matter: An Intersectional Analysis of Canadian Muslim Women. Canadian Council of Muslim Women. Avaiable at


Shah, Sarah. 2022. Beyond Immigrant Generation: Religious Approach, Perceptions of Discrimination, and the Stress Process Model. In Research Handbook on Society and Mental Health, edited by Marta Elliott. Edward Elgar Publishing. 


Shah, Sarah, Maryam Khan, and Sara Abdel-Latif. 2021. Decolonizing Muslim Same-Sex Relations:  Reframing Queerness as Gender Flexibility to Build Positive Relationships in Muslim Communities. In Positive Muslim Psychology, edited by Nausheen Pasha. Springer Press.


Shah, Sarah, and Aleena Atif. 2020. Canadian Muslim Health Exceptionalism. Institute of Islamic Studies Occasional Paper Series 1(3):1-48.  


Salem, Rania, and Sarah Shah.* 2019. Economic rationales for kin marriage: Assessing the evidence using Egyptian panel data. Demographic Research 41(19): 545-578.  

*Equal authorship 


Shah, Sarah. 2019. Canadian Muslims: Demographics, Discrimination, Religiosity, and Voting. Institute of Islamic Studies Occasional Paper Series Collection 1(1): 1-80.  


Shah, Sarah. 2018. Does Religion Buffer the Effects of Discrimination on Distress for Religious Minorities? The Case of Arab Americans. Society and Mental Health 9(2): 171-191


Shah, Sarah, Gabriel Acevedo, and Andrea Ruiz. 2017. Contextualizing Events in Imagined Communities: Pre- and Post-September 11th Egyptian Attitudes toward Non-Arabs and Jews. Sociology of Islam 5(4): 1-29.  


Shah, Sarah, John P. Bartkowski, and Xiaohe Xu. 2016. Gendered God Imagery and Attitudes towards Mothers’ Labor Force Participation: Examining the Transposable Character of Religious Schemas. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 55(3): 540-557.


Acevedo, Gabriel, and Sarah Shah. 2015. Sectarian Affiliation and Gender Traditionalism: A Sociological Study of Sunni and Shi’a Muslims in Four Predominantly Muslim Countries. Sociology of Islam 3(1): 1-29.  


Bartkowski, John P. and Sarah Shah. 2014. Religion and Gender Inequality. In Religion and Inequality, edited by Lisa A. Keister and Darren E. Sherkat. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Dr. Sarah Shah
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