On October 2, 2014, the Joseph W. Blount Center and the Interfaith Health Program hosted a lecture and panel discussion with Dr. Amanullah DeSondy about The Politics of Compassion:  Human Rights and Religion in Global Health and Development.

The appeal to human rights has long served as a primary moral basis for public health or development practice in global contexts. Proponents of this approach believe that the human rights framework offers a common ground from which people from various cultural, religious, and political contexts can act together to address health, social, and economic challenges; critics argue that it offers yet another way for imposing Western cultural and political norms on societies.

In public health and development work, one of the more recent contexts for contentious debate regarding human rights has been in the areas of religion, sexuality, and gender. Public health and development programs focusing on HIV prevention, sexual and reproductive health, and gender equity and empowerment must navigate this tension, particularly in global contexts in which funding for programs comes from Western governmental sources.

Amanullah DeSondyDr. Amanullah De Sondy, Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Miami, explored these issues in Muslim cultures, focusing on the influence of Islam on these debates as well as the debates within Islam itself. Dr. De Sondy, author of The Crisis of Islamic Masculinities, was joined in a panel discussion by:

>  Anushka Aqil, Master’s of Public Health Candidate, Hubert Department of Global Health
>  John Blevins, Associate Research Professor, Interfaith Health Program
>  Isam Vaid, Muslim Advisor, Office of Religious Life and Health Scientist, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The video of this event will be available for viewing soon.  Please check back.  View the photos on Flickr>>