Subject contains COVID-19
Item set Interviews
The respondent is an Arab-American male who was born in the United States. He is married and has one child just over a year old. He emphasized desire for unity across religious backgrounds and how this could contribute to the betterment of addressing racial issues. Stated to have a large interest in the topics of social justice and demonstrated a larger involvement and interest in how not only the recent social justice movements, but COVID-19 pandemic have impacted the ways that individuals are seen and can affect change. Respondent supported that the Muslim has and is one of inclusivity and that, as such, its followers should support inclusivity and multiculturalism in their own lives. He also suggested that Muslims, Imams and other religious leaders should speak out and comfort the people who are getting discriminated against. Knowledge and teaching are needed, especially teaching the younger generation how important it is to judge somebody by their heart and not by their religion or race. He also believes that the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish communities should be working with one another.
This transcript is focused on how this participant has adjusted his life during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has begun working from home, spending more time with his family, and has been able to rely on his religion to help him through this time. He has been able to communicate with friends and family through apps focused on video and/or audio communication. He has also been able to connect with his faith through having more time to read and watch videos connecting him and his family closer to the scripture. He also touched on how social justice issues should be a focus within the Muslim community and how his generation should contribute to this focus – that it’s his generation’s duty to get on boards of mosques so that they can play a role in educating the members about social justice. He sees a generational gap in awareness of social justice issues and actions that should be taken to promote social justice. He also presented a thoughtful and perceptive analysis of the generational differences regarding social justice.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected U.S. Muslims, even in ways that may have not been foreseeable at the beginning of the crisis. This participant has had the fortune of being financially secure throughout the pandemic but has missed out on visiting family both states and countries away. Though this participant was not a regular in-person attendee of her mosque anyway before the pandemic hit, she has noticed the wider spread impact on her religious community. Tenets of Islam, including the idea that God would not give us anything we could not handle, have been a source of strength. Finally, spending extra time with her infant son has been a silver lining in an otherwise difficult situation. Respondent recommends that Imams and other religious leaders work more on educating the community around social justice issues that are occurring around the nation or around the world or in their own community. She sees a generational gap in awareness of social justice issues and actions that should be taken to promote social justice.
The respondent is a Palestinian-American woman, 32 years of age, who grew up in the Midwestern U.S. She now lives in Virginia with her husband and three daughters who are all of school age. In the interview, the respondent shared about her experience with COVID-19 as causing a lot of change, both positive and negative. Some of the less desirable outcomes of the pandemic have included isolation from family and friends especially during Ramadan season, changing from her job as a preschool teacher to an at-home school-teacher for several children, including her own (there were positive aspects to this change, as well, as she is still doing what she loves to do). She describes giving to others in many ways, like by dropping off food for many people on their doorstep, being a “therapist” to so many people on the phone, making worksheets for kids of friends. Positive outcomes from the pandemic have included the respondent drawing closer to her faith, spending more family time together, her children learning more effectively in their online Islamic studies classes than they did in-person over the last five years, and connecting with geographically-distant family more often. Also, she has been able to teach her kids about being active in social justice initiatives like Black Lives Matter, which she and her family, as well as her mosque and nearby Islamic centers, have been active in supporting both theologically and by showing up.