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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

A Study of the Public Health Significance of September 11th on Muslim Communities in North Carolina Using Photo voice

Ahmad-Rufai Abdullah, DVM , MPH and Janet Porter, PhD. Health Policy & Administration, University of North Carolina, MacGavran-Greenberg Hall, CB # 7411, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, 919 859 4053, ar_abdullah@lubacorp.com

The terrorist attacks of September 11th have affected Americans in many different ways. The purpose of this study was to investigate any health and other life changes that Muslim Americans living in Raleigh, North Carolina have experienced since the 9/11 attacks on the United States. Using photo voice, a community-based participatory action research method as described by Wang & Burris (1997, 1999 & 2001), 14 adults, 18 years and older (7 males and 7 females) were interviewed as a group from March 16 to June 27, 2004. An analysis of the data collected using the Atlas-ti Software (Scientific Software, Berlin) indicated that the five issues (themes) of greatest concern to Muslim Americans are: public health, community outreach, Muslim shortcomings, community capacity, and Islam and terrorism. There was a general consensus in the study group that symptoms indicative of PTSD (fear, psycho-physiological insomnia and depression) and unemployment have increased among Muslims and especially among Muslim women. Ignorance among many Muslims about their own religion is compounded by ignorance among non-Muslim Americans about Islam, leading to an atmosphere of fear and anxiety which is perpetuated by the media. For the Muslims, the fear and anxiety relapsed each time the US government increased the alert levels. The results indicate that the terrorist attacks were as much a public health issue as a national security issue for all Americans. The events following 9/11 have considerably affected Muslim American lifestyles and behavior, which may have significant public health implications at the community levels.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Community Health Assessment, Faith Community

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

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The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA