Altaf Husain


Altaf Husain


Areas of Expertise: American Muslims, Mental Health, Muslims in the West, Immigration, American mosques, Muslim Youth

Disclaimer: the work linked below reflects the view of the author and does not necessarily reflect the view of ISPU.

Altaf Husain serves as an Assistant Professor in the Howard University School of Social Work, in Washington DC. He received his PhD in Social Work from Howard University and his Master of Science in Social Administration from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Husain’s research interests include displaced populations (homelessness, victims of disaster, immigrants and refugees), mental health and psychosocial well-being of adolescent immigrants and refugees of color in the U.S.; immigration policy and its impact on the family; cultural competence; and the development of social service agencies in the Muslim community.

Dr. Husain has written and researched on the topic of Islam and Muslims, most recently completing a quantitative study of Somali youth in the United States. He has been invited by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties to provide insights on Islam in general and specifically on the Somali Diaspora, in light of the disappearance of a few dozen Somali American youth from the United States in 2008-2009.

Dr. Husain served as a two-term national president of the Muslim Students Association of the U.S. and Canada (MSA National). Dr. Husain presently serves as a board member and chair of the Leadership Development Committee of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). He was a founding board member of the Islamic Social Services Association (ISSA).


PhD in Social Work, Howard University, Master of Science in Social Administration from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University

Areas of Expertise

  1. American Muslims
  2. Mental Health
  3. Muslims in the West
  4. Immigration
  5. American mosques
  6. Muslim Youth


This year's commemoration of the 9/11 terrorist attacks will be held at the peak of the presidential election campaigns. Both candidates and their surrogates would do well to focus on remembrance and resilience and hold the divisive rhetoric. Innocent men, women and children went to work that tragic Tuesday morning but did not return to…
Despite Somali-Americans' positive integration into the United States and little evidence of extremism in their ranks, U.S. Rep. Peter King is holding a congressional hearing Wednesday to investigate the recruitment of Somali-American youth by Al Shabaab, a terrorist organization with links to al Qaeda. Wednesday's hearing is the third the Republican from New York has…
This September, the First Cleveland Masjid in Ohio will celebrate its 75th anniversary and honour Hajj Wali Akram, its founder and visionary leader. Akram, an African American who was born in Texas, moved to Cleveland and set up this vibrant Sunni Muslim community – which has continued to this day. When listening to today’s popular…
One trend to watch in the presidential elections will be whether Muslim American civic engagement will translate into votes in November 2012. While there has been a strong Muslim American voting contingent among African Americans, unresolved grievances rooted in race, rather than religion, have tended to be motivating factors for civic engagement among this group.…
As observers and analysts of nonprofit organizations will note, staying in existence for fifty years is a significant achievement for any organization, especially one which is of the students, for the students and run by the students. The Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada (MSA National) began as a spiritual and social…
The Associated Press discovery that the New York Police Department (NYPD) monitored Muslim college students both within and outside the city limits in 2006 and 2007 has sparked outrage from university officials and students. The surveillance included Baruch College, Columbia University, New York University and the State University of New York campus in Buffalo and…
What does it feel like to discover the New York Police Department has been monitoring you?
As Americans pause on 4 April, the anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, it is worthwhile to reflect on the culture of service and social justice that were part of his teachings. While the values King espoused could be internalised by anyone who is passionate about improving the human condition, his teachings resonate…