Politicizing Muslim mental health toward a decolonial framework

Younis, Tarek ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0747-8782 (2021) Politicizing Muslim mental health toward a decolonial framework. Journal of Muslim Mental Health, 15 (1) . pp. 1-18. ISSN 1556-4908 [Article] (doi:10.3998/jmmh.143)

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There is a growing recognition that mental illness should be taken more seriously within Muslim communities. In this are emerging trends to Islamicise psychology or psychologise Islam, whereby the former attempts to adapt contemporary psychological practices for Muslims, while the latter endeavours to indigenise and establish a psychology rooted firmly in Islamic traditions. Yet a large body of interdisciplinary works has argued that Muslims are uniquely positioned vis-à-vis Nation-States across the Global North. There is thus a need to underscore the significance of the political which underpins the relationship between ‘Muslim’ and ‘mental health’. The political will be explored by addressing three paradigms and their particular relationship to Muslim mental health: neoliberalism, nationalism and securitisation. I argue that Muslim mental health, irrespective of approach or discipline, is unique in its ability to serve power and ensure Muslims remain productive, loyal and low-risk citizens of the Nation-State. Emerging Muslim mental health models may succeed in their stated objective—alleviate suffering or raise God consciousness—but they do not address the political dimension underlying mental health practice itself. I argue that a movement towards decolonising mental health must remain in constant dialectical resistance with dominant ideological paradigms and be rooted in an interdisciplinary praxis established upon the Islamic paradigm of trusteeship (waqf). This ensures suffering is neither commodified nor compartmentalised outside of the wider Western Muslim experience.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Psychiatry and Mental health, Religious studies, Health(social science)
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 33938
Notes on copyright: Copyright Information and Open Access Statement
The Journal of Muslim Mental Health is an open access publication. The intellectual copyright for papers published in The Journal of Muslim Mental Health are retained by the authors. Published articles are distributed open-access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license, which permits anyone to download, copy, distribute, or display the full text without asking for permission, provided that the creator(s) are given full credit, no derivative works are created, and the work is not used for commercial purposes.
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Depositing User: Jisc Publications Router
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2021 14:16
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2021 20:33
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/33938

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