By Lorena Ruiz, MSNBC
This week’s Melissa Harris-Perry Foot Soldier is Asma Hanif, an advanced practice nurse who has devoted her life to operating Al-Nissa Holistic Health Center, a free clinic for women who are homeless, uninsured, or victims of domestic abuse, and Muslimat Al-Nisaa, a shelter for Muslim women.
Asma became interested in medicine after watching her grandmother pass away from a treatable condition because she lacked access to health care. She later went on to become a nurse and establish a center where all women could have access to quality care, regardless of means.
In the teaching hospitals where she trained, Asma noticed that many of the Muslim women who came as patients were treated without respect or cultural sensitivity. She also heard stories from Muslim women who had been in shelters where volunteers encouraged them to undertake a religious conversion. Those experiences helped her identify the need for services that catered specifically to Muslim women. (Read the interview or watch the video)