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September 15, 2018 Annals of Hijaabis 0

It’s not long since I started to work in an inpatient unit at a hospital. I finished my duty for the day and it was time to head home. So, I made my way down one of the corridors when a woman came out of her room , saw me walking towards her direction and she shouted “Jesus!” with a scary look in her eyes as if she had seen a monster. The woman ran back into her room immediately and shut the door. I looked around and I realised I was the only one present in the vicinity. I was amazed by her reaction and I thought to myself “this lady is not ok”

With the heightened atmosphere of hate and growing islamophobia I came to the conclusion that this was the driving force behind her behaviour.

Few weeks later we bumped into each other again, she displayed the same way and I wondered what can be done to tackle this problem. After a while, I realised I had not seen this woman in the ward, so I asked the nursing staff about her, describing her appearance because I did not know her name. The nurses  racked their  brains for a while trying to figure out who I was referring to since we had lots of patients admitted in the ward, until finally they realised the particular person that caught my interest , “ohh ! She was discharged last week” they said following her noncompliance to the hospital policy. In my mind I felt at ease that no more unnecessary drama, but little did I know that the worst was yet to come.

Later on, another woman was admitted but this time around, it was under our team. Her admission was based on some critical social circumstances and query possible relapse of her mental health. The nurses gave me a head start with relevant collateral information. I realised she was going to cause mayhem in the ward based on her previous admission. I did my assessment according to the protocol, I noticed her rapport with me was superficial and poor engagement despite my unrelenting empathic style of approach. I documented my mental state assessment with my plan in her notes.

Nonetheless, I continued to review her during the course of her stay, and her hostility towards me continued to escalate specifically targeting my Muslim identity. I remembered one of the difficult interview sessions I had with her, she told me that we stone women to death because that is what my religion teaches. She went on to call me a terrorist  and that I shouldn’t  be allowed to work here. I maintained firm boundaries with her making it clear that any form of abuse would not be tolerated. I ended the interview because there was no basis to continue same as she was not adhering to my advice and trust me, she was not one of those people one could win over with the best of manners. She would see me along the corridor with the most obnoxious character calling me a terrorist, but I always ignored her since I am not a terrorist and my father did not name me one.

The D-day finally came following several complaints by the nurses about how disruptive she was a night before in the ward. I went with one of our nurses to review her. During the conversation she became filled with rage, cursing, saying I will rot in hell and ended with “terrorist!”. I ended the session with the plan to discharge her from the hospital. She was later escorted by the security staff out of the premises as I completed my notes, an incident report and informed the consultant who agreed to the plan. The most important thing to me was that I remained sane leaving the hospital premises that day.

If our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallahu alaiwasallam) who was the epitome of good character and conduct during his life time could not win some people’s hearts due to their animosity and hatred towards the deen, then we should bear in mind  that no matter how hard we try, some people will refuse to see the beauty of Islam.

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