Congresswoman Hails Muslim Institution as Model of Hope


UMMA Clinic Delegation and the Hon. Congresswoman Maxine Waters in the Rayburn Room of the Nation’s Capitol

Washington, DC: On July 26, 2006, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) proudly proclaimed that "the UMMA Clinic provides Muslim-Americans with an institution in which they can take pride, one that enriches the community with services that save lives."
The University Muslim Medical Association (UMMA) Community Clinic is currently celebrating its tenth anniversary of dedicated service to the residents of South Los Angeles -- regardless of their race, religion or socio-economic status.
Her address before a session of the US Congressional House of Representatives may be the first time in over two centuries of US Congressional history that a Muslim-American institution was hailed as a model of hope, progress and benefit to the whole of American society.
Noting that the UMMA Clinic is the nation's first Muslim-American founded charitable health center, Congresswoman Waters underscored that UMMA emerged "as a result of the obligations Muslim-Americans feel to ensure the well-being of everyone in society."
"At a time when Muslim-Americans face unfair discrimination and scrutiny, the UMMA Clinic allows Muslims to put their faith into action through service, selflessness and compassion," the Congresswoman stated. Her address represents a courageous and refreshing recognition of a long-standing, though overlooked fact: Muslim-Americans are an inseparable part of the nation's fabric, and as she said, "UMMA Clinic is one of the many ways that Muslim-Americans serve their country."
The Congresswoman's address invites the possibility of serious public reflection on the negative stereotypes associated with Islam and Muslims. With added exposure for organizations like UMMA Clinic, an accurate understanding of Islam may soon emerge, whereby compassion and concern for preserving life become synonymous with Muslim practice.
For ten years, these values have helped UMMA flourish as a primary provider of free, high-quality healthcare for over 15,000 children and adults, many of whom would otherwise have no access to primary health care services.
Punctuating her remarks with a challenge to her Congressional colleagues, Congresswoman Waters said, "If you want to see what Muslim-Americans truly represent, go to the UMMA Community Clinic in my district and you will see it there."
For more information on the UMMA Community Clinic, please visit www.ummaclinic.org

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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