American Islamic College held its First Annual Chaplaincy Workshop for Non-Muslim Chaplains serving in multi-faith settings, such as hospitals, military, schools, and prisons. After a delicious breakfast, President Dr. Ali Yurtsever gave encouraging introductory remarks to launch the program. Jawad Qureshi, AIC’s Professor of Arabic and Islamic studies, followed with an introductory survey of Islam.
AIC’s adjunct of Psychology, Hooman Keshavarzi, then gave a presentation that covered the scenarios related to counseling and pastoral care to patients with mental health. In doing so, he covered topics, such as suffering and death in Islam. Saleha Jabeen, a Healthcare Specialist in the US Army Reserves, offered anecdotes and her personal journey in interfaith studies and dialogue as a foundation for her current role and interests. She mentioned the importance of communication and open dialogue as a way to break the ice and build a bridge. “Just ask,” she said, when talking about religious and cultural sensitivities present in working with patients.
After lunch, Sheikh Kifah Mustapha spoke on “End of Life and Funeral Proceedings.” His talk was thorough, and he covered a number of interesting topics, such as, organ transplants, abortion, vegetative states, suicide, etc. He concluded his talk with funeral preparations and the Islamic perspective on burial and wakes.
To conclude, Imam Khalid Bilal, a chaplain in the Cook County jail, discussed the difficulties present in securing accommodations for Muslim inmates. He offered tips on how to provide support and resources for those in jail and for those released.
The workshop provided an in-depth sharing of Islam, presented nuances in perspectives within Muslim observances, raised theological questions related to suffering, sickness, and death, and discussed some practical applications for interactions between chaplains and their Muslim constituents.
Date: Saturday, July 30, 2016
Time: 8:30am – 5:00pm
Where: Conference Hall, Main Bldg, American Islamic College
There are a number of chaplaincy sites that serve multi-faith contexts, like hospitals, schools, prisons, and the military. There are many Christian and Jewish clergy and/or practitioners who serve in chaplaincy roles that find themselves attending to the needs of one who identifies as Muslim. Thus, this cultural and religious sensitivity training is offered to all chaplains working in a multi-faith setting who could benefit from some training and resources related to Islam.