Cultural Diversity and Muslims in America
With about 5 million Muslims living in the United States, many Americans want to know: who are they? Dr. Masood is an American, a mother, a wife, a professor, and a practicing Muslim. She prays 5 times a day, recites Quran every morning, fasts during Ramadan, recites Bismillah before she starts her car’s engine, and pays her zakkah (an annual charitable practice that is obligatory for all that can afford it), but she doesn’t wear hijab. To Dr. Masood, Islam is not supposed to be difficult or rigid, it is not guilt, it is not fear, it is definitely not war—it’s peace—internal and external peace. It’s a life style. Prayer gives her solace when she feels distressed or conflicted. That is her Islam, not the one many hear about from Taliban or ISIS. Dr. Masood’s background in psychology makes her the perfect person to lead an open, welcoming discussion that invites questions and increases understanding.
Dr. Ambrin Masood is an Assistant Professor for the Department of Rehabilitation and Human Services at Montana State University Billings with a License in Mental Health Counseling. Dr. Masood earned her Ph.D. in School Psychology from a CACREP accredited Counselor Education Program from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. She also earned an MS in Experimental Psychology for the University of South Alabama, in Mobile, Alabama. She has worked with mentally and physically disabled youth and adults for three years as their Behavior Counselor and Program Director, where she developed, implemented and supervised their behavior management plans (1998 – 2002). During this time, she also worked with children on autism spectrum, counseling their parents and consulting with their teachers. In Islamabad, Pakistan (1991 – 1995) she worked as a Crisis Counselor for Rape and Domestic Violence Victims, BEDARI a Non-profit-organization, Assistant Speech Therapist and Counselor for children with special needs and as a Counselor in the Oncology and pediatric wards for the terminal patients.