In this blog post, I continue the previous post (Parts 1, 2 and 3), which I started when I wondered what stereotype I fit that would cause someone to think that I would welcome anti-Muslim emails. That email stimulated me to do some research and give substantive answers to the questions that were asked. Investigating a topic gives me inspiration for writing, as my research about lynchings in 1907 led to my novel Well Considered.
[Continuing: the anti-Muslim email questions are on the left, and my responses are indented and italicized on the right.]
(Part 4) Muslim Hospital, Orchestra, Charity, Girl Scouts, etc.
I want to shake the guy’s hand that wrote this . . .
Have you ever seen a Muslim hospital?
I know that the National Institutes of Health, a huge government hospital and research center in Washington, was headed by a Muslim—Elias A. Zerhouni, an Algerian-born American radiologist and medical researcher. He was appointed by George W. Bush in May 2002 as the 15th director of the NIH. He served for 6 years, stepping down in October, 2008. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elias_Zerhouni ]
On a personal level, a Muslim doctor saved my mother’s life twice in a Maryland hospital.
Have you heard a Muslim orchestra?
Islamic music is vastly diverse multi-ethnic devotional and secular music coming from the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, Central Asia, South Asia, and the medieval Iberian peninsula. Try these links:
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_music ] [ listen at:
Also, in the U.S., many Muslim musicians play jazz, popular music, and hip-hop.
- Ahmet Ertegün– Songwriter, founder of Atlantic Records (hit artists included Ruth Brown, Joe Turner, The Clovers, The Drifters, The Coasters, and Ray Charles), past chairman of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
- Ahmad Jamal– Jazz pianist
- Art Blakey– American jazz drummer and bandleader
- Yusef Lateef– Jazz musician and Grammy Award winner
Have you seen a Muslim band march in a parade?
I go to few parades, but I do know that you can’t tell a Muslim man (or student) from a non-Muslim man (or student) by looking at him. If you see a man wearing a turban, he is probably a Sikh (a religion that originated in India), not a Muslim.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) The IFRC carries out relief operations to assist victims of disasters, and combines this with development work to strengthen the capacities of its member National Societies. The IFRC’s work focuses on promoting humanitarian values, disaster response, disaster preparedness, and health and community care. Red Crescent Societies operate in thirty-three Islamic states that recognize the Red Crescent symbol.
Have you shaken hands with a Muslim Girl Scout?
I don’t shake hands with Girl Scouts—I’m much too old. But I did learn that Muslim Girl Scout troops are in their second year in Minneapolis, and they hope to have 100 members in all-Muslim troops next year. (http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/06/30_tonessb_girlscouts/)
There’s another one at Al-Huda School in College Park, Maryland. Also, Troop 48050 is in Deerborn, MI. (http://muslimgirlscout.com/), and there are three Muslim Girl Scout troops at the Islamic Center of San Diego. (http://www.massandiego.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=43&Itemid=99)
Have you seen a Muslim Candy Striper?
Luckily, we have not had to spend much time in hospitals, but now that we live in a truly diverse neighborhood, we finally have friends of other races, gender identities, and religions. We personally know a number of Muslims who serve our community in both hospitals and schools.
The answer is no, you have not. Just ask yourself WHY ?
Is it because you live in an area that is not diverse like ours is? Is it because you don’t have opportunities to become friends with people who are different from yourself religiously, racially, or otherwise?
NEXT: (Part 5) 9/11