Healthcare for Muslim Patients


Responses to the Pew Poll on Muslim Americans:

ING: “Advocating Against Violence for One Nation

Professor Ingrid Mattson: “A Call for Moral Leadership: Imagining a New Heroism

ING Speaker Responds to Film “Obsession” at Berkeley Public Library – 5/28/07

An ING speaker was invited to respond and dialogue after the screening of the film “Obsession” at the Berkeley Public Library on Sunday, May 28th. The film, which is being screened across the country, documents Muslim extremists and their violent rhetoric from various countries to make the case that there is a worldwide network of radical Islamists with a global agenda. The film shows clips from different speeches and rallies as well as interviews with self proclaimed extremist leaders making radical remarks about jihad and war against the West. Much of the film is also devoted to drawing parallels between so called “Islamic” radicals and Nazi Germany, comparing the two ideologies and their strategies of gaining followers and seeking power and domination.

After viewing the one hour film, the speaker was asked to respond to the many issues it raised. She began by clarifying the Islamic position on terrorism and the prohibition against targeting civilians even during war. She emphasized that many of these self proclaimed leaders are neither scholars nor leaders, but use Islam to further their political agenda. She took issue with the film’s conflation of Nazism with militant Islam, since while there may be similarities, the Holocaust and related ideologies were a product of Western Europe, and the association with Muslims appears to be politically motivated. She also pointed out that the kind of prejudice and pogroms experienced by Jews during their long history in Europe leading up to the Holocaust had not occurred in Muslim lands, where on the contrary in places like Muslim Spain, Jews had thrived for centuries. When asked about a solution to the problem of Muslim terrorism, she mentioned the importance of education especially among young people of the true Islamic position on terrorism, as well as the importance of supporting moderate Muslims, and working for justice and “an end to foreign occupations,” which she noted was the conclusion of Robert Pape, author of “Dying to Win, the Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism”.

Audience members responded at different levels to these observations, some agreeing with the speaker, others taking issue with her statements. At the end of the dialogue, however, all agreed that it was a valuable experience that is not very common to be able to sit and discuss these issues and agree to disagree. It was also pointed out that the sponsors and the speaker were courageous in taking this step; screenings in other places have not ended with similar exchange of opinions. It is to the organizer’s credit that they gave ING the opportunity to respond to the film and answer related questions, rather than featuring someone as other groups have, with a similar outlook as the producers of the film.

ING Speaker Presents at PAAC-California Teachers Association – 5/26/07

ING speaker Ameena Jandali presented a workshop to a group of teachers at the Pacific Asian American Caucus (PAAC) – California Teachers Association (CTA) Conference in San Francisco on Saturday, May 26. The ING workshop for educators was titled: “Supplementing Cultural Studies Relating to the Muslim World in Grades K-12 and Interacting with Muslim Students.” The workshop was attended by a mixture of elementary and secondary school teachers who were interested in learning about their Muslim students, and how to more fully include them in their classroom. The presentation included an overview on Islam and Muslims, including some of the most common stereotypes pertaining to violence and women, as well as specific resources and suggestions for teaching about the subject. The presentation concluded with issues that might impact interaction with Muslim students, such as diet, prayers, dress, and holidays.

Participants in the interactive session expressed their interest in the topic and their appreciation for gaining an understanding of a commonly misunderstood topic, which they felt was vital in today’s world. Many of them expressed the need for making this presentation available to a wide spectrum of teachers, who often have little familiarity or understanding or the subject. To schedule a similar workshop in your school, please contact the ING office at (408) 296-7312 or [email protected]

ING Speaker Presents at Independence High School, San Jose – 5/24/07

An ING speaker addressed a group of about 60 teachers and students at a cultural diversity event at Independence High School on Thursday, May 24th. The interactive presentation focused mainly on contemporary issues and questions of interest, such as stereotyping, hijab, separation of the genders in the prayer hall versus the community center, sectarian fighting in Iraq, and similar topics that teachers had questions about. The presentation was highly interactive with wide participation from the audience through question and answers intermingled with the talk.

This event has been coordinated annually for the past three years by a South Asian teacher at the school who has organized the presentation cultural diversity awareness week as well as through a teacher’s luncheon he also hosts every year where he caters Indian/Pakistani cuisine. Additionally, ING speakers spoke to 18 classes in the school earlier this year as part of their cultural diversity awareness curriculum. The school’s commitment to cultural awareness and tolerance is due to its rich diversity, as well as its belief in making the school a place of inclusion and support for everybody, including the significant number of girls wearing hijab, who were completely comfortable and self assured, as they should be.

ING Trainer Delivers Healthcare Presentation at Nurses Conference – 5/24/07

ING speaker and trainer, Dr. Sarah Azad addressed approximately 200 nurses at the Registered Nurses Professional Association Conference in San Jose on Thursday, May 24th. The session covered ING’s “Healthcare for Muslim Patients” presentation that gives a brief overview on Islam and Muslims before expanding on issues and practices that directly impact care of a Muslim patient. The presentation has been recently updated with photographs and new scripts and has been delivered over ten times this year to healthcare providers or chaplains in the local area.

As the Bay Area and the nation grow more and more diverse, it becomes increasingly important for healthcare providers to have a better understanding of its diverse population including Muslims and how to better serve their specific needs and accommodate their practices. From the five daily prayers, to fasting in Ramadan, diet and gender interaction, when care providers have a clear comprehension of what these practices entail and how to deal with them, the experience both for the provider and the patient becomes a source of better health. ING is presently expanding its healthcare presentations to further meet the needs of the diverse Muslim population; if any of you have experienced misunderstandings – or the converse – please let us know of issues of concern that need to be addressed by writing to [email protected].