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Half of Muslim doctors in US vibes unfairness

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A national survey has revealed, that American Muslims, even those in one the most highly regarded professions in the US, encounter a less-than-inclusive and welcoming work environment during their career.

The survey that comprised 255 US Muslim physicians found that nearly half of the respondents felt greater scrutiny at work compared to their peers.

Nearly one in four said workplace religious discrimination had taken place sometimes — or more — often during their career.

The same percentage of Muslim physicians believe they have been passed over for career advancement owing to their religion.

The likelihood of religious discrimination over one’s career was greater among the respondents who consider their religion to be a very important part of their lives, said the study funded by the John Templeton Foundation and conducted at the University of Chicago.

“This national survey of American Muslim physicians provides some encouraging findings regarding the extent to which Muslim religious identity attracts negative workplace experiences, but also some findings that merit concern,” explained study author Aasim Padela, director of the Initiative on Islam and Medicine at the University of Chicago.

“It is further evidence that the acknowledgment of the religious identity of one’s co-workers should be an added focus within workforce diversity efforts that today focus primarily on reducing discrimination directed at racial, ethnic, gender and sexual orientation identities,” Padela added.

American Muslims from diverse backgrounds make up about five percent of US physicians.

Recent reports, including a Pew Research Centre survey and a Zogby national poll, found Muslims to be the most negatively viewed religious group in the US.

The findings suggest that data-driven programmes are needed to eliminate religion-directed discrimination in the health care workplace.

“Achieving an inclusive and diverse workforce requires policies that cultivate respect and accommodation for the religious identity of physicians of minority religions,” Padela noted.

American Muslim doctors provide a valued service to this country.

“If they can’t feel comfortable being who they are in their workplace, we may marginalise them to practice medicine in some locales and not others, and also may create a ceiling on their upward career trajectory or even limit their openness about their identity,” the authors emphasised.

Notably, the study found that neither indications of religious practice (such as a more frequent habit of performing ritual prayer) nor religious appearance (such as wearing a beard or hijab — a headscarf worn by some Muslim women) was associated with perceived religious discrimination at the health care workplace.

“When these things happen, these accomplished, respected members of our society lose some of their ability to serve as positive role models in their own religious communities and more broadly within American society,” Padela stressed.

“We restrict their ability to ultimately counter negative stereotypes and create a positive narrative of Muslims in the US,” added the author, who has received the Ibn Sina Award from the Compassionate Care Network of Chicago for his contributions to the field of Islamic medical ethics.

wefornews bureau

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WhatsApp sees 40% increase in usage in time of pandemic

Supporting hospitals (41 per cent) and being helpful to government (35 per cent) is an expectation of significant minority of consumers, the study says.

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London, March 28 : As COVID-19 pandemic envelopes the world, WhatsApp has seen a 40 per cent increase in usage, according to a study by Kantar, a data and consulting company.

Across all stages of the pandemic, WhatsApp is the social media app experiencing the greatest gains in usage as people look to stay connected. Overall WhatsApp has seen a 40 per cent increase in usage.

Kantar conducted the largest global study into consumer attitudes, media habits and expectations during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Kantar estimates that for WhatsApp in the early phase of the pandemic usage increases 27 per cent, in mid-phase 41 per cent and countries in the late phase of the pandemic see an increase of 51 per cent.

Spain experienced a 76 per cent increase in time spent on WhatsApp. Overall Facebook usage has increased 37 per cent. China experienced a 58% increase in usage of local social media apps including Wechat and Weibo.

According to a study, there is a crisis in trust. Traditional nationwide news channels (broadcast and newspaper) are the most trusted sources of information with 52 per cent of people identifying them as a ‘trustworthy’ source.

Government agency websites are regarded as trustworthy by only 48 per cent of people, suggesting that government measures are not providing citizens around the world with assurances and security.

Also reflecting the loss of trust from recent election cycles, social media platforms are regarded by only 11 per cent of people as a source of trustworthy information.

As countries move deeper in to the pandemic so media consumption increases across all in-home channels. According to Kantar, in the later stages of the pandemic web browsing increases by 70 per cent, followed by (traditional) TV viewing increasing by 63 per cent and social media engagement increasing by 61 per cent over normal usage rates.

Increased usage across all messaging platforms has been biggest in the 18-34 age group. WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram have all experienced a more than 40 per cent increase in usage from under 35-year olds.

Consumers expect the brands they choose to look after their employees first and foremost with 78 per cent saying take care of employees’ health and 62 per cent saying implement flexible working.

Supporting hospitals (41 per cent) and being helpful to government (35 per cent) is an expectation of significant minority of consumers, the study says.

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Facebook launches Messenger chatbot to share COVID-19 info

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New Delhi, March 27 (IANS) Social media giant Facebook on Friday launched Messenger Chatbot with Health Ministry and MyGov in India to raise awareness around CIDIC-19 disease.

The Corona Helpdesk Chatbot on Messenger will help provide authentic and accurate information and bust fake news about new coronavirus.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to support the government across ministries with communications tools and resources to share timely, accurate information on the coronavirus to keep people safe and informed. We will continue to do everything we can to help the country’s efforts,” Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director of Facebook India said in a statement.

Facebook users can start accessing the Corona Helpdesk Chatbot and reach out to Health Ministry for authentic news, official updates, precautionary measures and emergency helpline numbers through this Chatbot.

The Chatbot has both English and Hindi language capabilities.

To contact the Chatbot, users can go to the Facebook page on MyGov Corona Hub and then start a chat by typing ‘Get Started’, which will prompt them to either type in a query or choose from a list of frequently asked questions.

Depending on the question, users will receive verified information in the form of a video, infographic or text.

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MTNL to Provide 1-month Free Access to Corporate Servers for Work From Home During Nation-wide Lockdown

Generally, MTNL charges Rs 2,000-Rs 2,500 per connection for accessing corporate servers located on its network.

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State-owned telecom firm MTNL on Thursday started offering free access to office server to its enterprise customers’ employees to support work from home during the lockdown.

The employees of MTNL’s corporate customers using its broadband connection will be able to avail this service free for one month, MTNL Chairman and Managing Director Sunil Kumar told PTI.

“Many organisations have their main server on MTNL MPLS Network. Employees of such organisations who have MTNL Broadband can be enabled with MTNL VPNoBB (Virtual Private Network Over Broadband). Through this, they can access their office servers. This will be a secure medium,” Kumar said.

He said this system will give them access to all service that their company offers in office to carry out their task.

“Using this, corporate employees can do all the works for which otherwise they have to come to office. It will be just extension of office up to their home. No access limitations. MTNL will be extending this facility for one month without any additional charge, just to enable smooth work from home,” he said.

Generally, MTNL charges Rs 2,000-Rs 2,500 per connection for accessing corporate servers located on its network.

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