Muslim & mental the impact of stigmas on communities
Haq, Kanwal L.
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Since September 11, 2001 there has been much commotion regarding the Muslim- American community. Constituting one percent of the U.S population, Muslim- Americans represent a multitude of ethnicities, socioeconomic classes, beliefs, preferences, and behaviors, occupying a multitude of worldviews--those arising from their various religious and cultural heritages and those innate to their American roots. Muslim-Americans’ unique hyphenated-identities, imbued with historical and political significance in the post-9/11 era, makes them vital to understanding the current landscape of minority mental health. While existing literature examines Muslim-Americans perceptions of mental health, focused exploration of Muslim-Americans lived experiences with mental health has been limited. This study investigates Muslim- Americans perceptions of mental health using standard ethnographic methods: in-depth and open-ended interviews, and immersion as participant observer in the research population at a local Islamic center and through community events. The findings suggest that: 1) Muslim-Americans’ interstitial identity, compounded by socio-political and religious-cultural frameworks, shapes their perceptions of and attitudes towards mental health and 2) mainstream American narratives of mental health care and support do not adequately accommodate varying approaches to personhood and well-being.
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