Like many of you, I am still a little numb as to what happened last Tuesday and as President of your organization, I have struggled over the past few days as to what my response should be. How do I give words of comfort and strength to Muslim health professionals who may now be contemplating whether or not to continue wearing hijab, or undergraduate students contemplating careers in the health industry and wondering if there is a place for them in America?
This election has brought out some of the ugliest forms of hatred and bigotry towards not only Muslims, but people from various communities. Yet, I am reminded that we have endured all sorts of challenges which have tested our commitment to the common good, and we have prevailed. This challenge is no different!
When our Founder, Arshia Wajid, decided to start American Muslim Health Professionals (AMHP) 12 years ago, she wanted to create an organization that represented and supported Muslim professionals working in diverse sectors of healthcare. She not only wanted them to grow professionally, but more importantly, to provide a forum so we can work collectively to advocate for the rights of minorities and underserved communities and promote public health, civic engagement and social justice.
When I think about the roots of AMHP, faith and public health, I am reminded that we have the perfect ingredients to address problems that lie ahead. Islam is rooted in peace, justice, and equality for all, and public health is a discipline that protects the health of people and the communities where they live, learn, work, and play. Therefore, I want to remind my fellow dentists, pharmacists, physicians, lab technicians, public health practitioners and all other health professionals that we are here for you. AMHP is your organization and is a safe space to go to when things get tough. Our work around disability awareness, mental health and connecting Americans to affordable healthcare will continue irrespective of the current political climate
In closing, I would like to share two quotes with you as we journey together through this current challenge. The first is from the Holy Quran: "It is God's design to put the human through hardship and adversity so as to test their faith and their resolve and trust in God [29:2]”. The second quote is from Malcolm X: "Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time."
Let's continue to come together as ONE community in support of one another and continue our mission to improve the health of all Americans.
Albert Pless Jr.
American Muslim Health Professionals (AMHP)