Firstly this month, an article by Dr. Goleen Samari (University of Texas) published in the American Journal of Public Health summarises the effects of Islamophobia on the health of the growing population of Muslim Americans. Islamophobia invariably brings about stigma and discrimination of Muslims, with adverse effects on physical and mental health as a result of Islamophobia’s interference with individual, interpersonal and structural systems of Muslims and the Muslim community.
As in the United States, the racial makeup of Muslims in the UK is largely South Asian and Middle Eastern, but Dr. Samari argues that “pathogenic conditions of Islamophobia have to be understood across racial groups”. Dr. Samari concludes by calling for more qualitative research into the impact of Islamophobia on Muslims, more importantly at the structural system level.
Read the article “Islamophobia and Public Health in the United States” here
The Open Society Justice Initiative has issued a report titled Eroding Trust: the UK’s Prevent Counter-Extremism Strategy in Health and Education, which criticises the Government’s Prevent strategy that is now applied in healthcare settings. The report also analyses the disruptions to provider-patient relationships using two health-related case studies: one involving a patient quizzed about his political views and affiliations by his GP, and the second involving a nurse called in for a ‘Human Resources’ meeting after regularly wearing a hijab at work.
Read the report and executive summary here
And finally this month, a touching narrative by Dr. Raya Kheirbek published in the journal Academic Medicine reminding us of the importance of understanding our patients’ different belief systems.
Read “Behind the Veil” here
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