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Islamophobia: Psychologists are studying the impact of anti-Muslim sentiment

Islamophobia

Psychologists are studying the impact of anti-Muslim sentiment and exploring ways to prevent it

By Rebecca A. Clay | April 2017, Vol 48, No. 4 |Print version: page 34

When President Donald Trump first tried to stop citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States, he cited the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as his rationale. Yet none of the men behind those attacks hailed from these countries. In fact, a Cato Institute analysis shows that between 1975 and 2015 no one from these countries killed a single American in a U.S. terrorist attack.

Unfortunately, equating Muslims with terrorists has become disturbingly common in American society—and the consequences can be violent. According to a Federal Bureau of Investigation report released in November, the number of assaults, attacks on mosques and other hate crimes against Muslims in 2015 was higher than at any other time except the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11. In 2015, there were 257 anti-Muslim incidents, up from 154 in 2014—a 67 percent increase. In 2001, 481 incidents were reported.

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Zakat eligibility of The FYI

The Family & Youth Institute, or The FYI, is a well-known Muslim organization in the United States. It works to promote mental health and wellness by strengthening and empowering individuals, families, and communities through research and education. It has been working for many years to bring Islamic perspectives to understanding and promoting mental health in our communities.

It is dedicated to serving and supporting Muslims – safeguarding our deen, our families, and our future generations. Therefore, the work of The FYI comes in the category of ‘fi sabeelillah’ or the Path of Allah, within the eight categories where Zakat money can be used.

Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed for it and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah, and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah, And Allah, is Knowing and Wise.”
(Al-Tawbah 9:60)

According to scholars who widen the meaning of fee sabeelillah to include any activities that promote Islamic growth, The FYI is indeed eligible to receive part of the Zakat funds for its programs and services. I urge Muslims in America to support this organization through their donations, general charity, and through their Zakat. I ask Allah swt to strengthen and guide The FYI to continue its good work in supporting Muslims.

Shaikh Ali Suleiman Ali, PhD

About Shaikh Ali

Sh. Ali Suleiman Ali was born in Ghana where he spent his childhood studying with various Muslim scholars. He then moved to Saudi Arabia and enrolled in the Islamic University of Madina.  He graduated with a degree in both Arabic and Islamic Studies. Dr. Ali went on to complete his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Sh. Ali serves on the Advisory Council of The Family & Youth Institute. He is the Senior Imam and Director of the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs in Canton, Michigan. Additionally, he serves as the Director of Muslim Family Services in Detroit and is a council member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA). He is also a member of the North American Imams Federation (NAIF) and the Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA).