Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world and in the United States. By the year 2010, Muslims in the United States will be the second-largest religious group after Christians (Bagby, 1994; Haddad & Lummis, 1987; Melton, 1993; Waugh, Abu Laban, & Qureishi, 1991). The rapid growth of the Muslim community is attributed mainly to immigration, a high fertility rate, and conversion. Despite this tremendous growth, the Muslim community continues to be understudied, widely misunderstood, and falsely stereotyped. Research and studies pertaining to the Muslim population with respect to counseling and other mental health fields is at best minimal and in most cases superficial and judgmental. Most of the few studies made on Muslims in mental health issues are based mainly on religious textual information that describe religious ideals and cultural norms rather than considering empirical data that indicate individual differences and social factors. Furthermore, these studies do not present counselors with practical requirements to understand, let alone accommodate their Muslim clients.
While trends of multiculturalism and inclusion are growing, Muslims continue to suffer rising racism. If racism is defined as the denial of access or opportunities, Muslims, particularly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, top the list of communities and populations that suffer
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Publication information: Book title: Counseling American Muslims: Understanding the Faith and Helping the People. Contributors: Ahmed Nezar Kobeisy - Author. Publisher: Praeger. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 2004. Page number: 1.
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