Identifying Social Service Needs of Muslims Living in a Post 9/11 Era: The Role of Community-Based Organizations


  • Micheal L. Shier School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania
  • John R. Graham Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary



Social work, social environment, service delivery, Muslims, organizations


In this qualitative study the investigators sought to better understand the ways in which service provider organizations (n=19) working with Muslim service providers have adapted to the changing social and political contexts in a post-9/11 era in New York City, and how this changing environment has affected the types of services that Muslims need. Service providers described two general ways in which services were adapted: 1) they have sought to address limits in service delivery programs that were a result of emerging sociopolitical dynamics (such as increasing discrimination) through adaptations to existing programs or through the development of new initiatives, programs, and organizations; and 2) they have adapted programs and services to meet the emerging sociocultural demands (such as changing attitudes towards help-seeking, and presenting problems of services users) of the Muslim population. The study illustrated the role of service provider organizations in adapting existing services, or creating new services, in response to a changing sociopolitical context. Social work education must focus attention on how social workers can adapt and create organizations that are responsive to the changing needs of service users. More curriculum content is necessary on the intra- and inter-organizational context of direct social work practice, with particular attention to innovation and adaptation within and between human service organizations.

Author Biographies

Micheal L. Shier, School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania

Phd Candidate

John R. Graham, Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary

Murray Fraser Professor of Community Economic Development


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