Skip to comments.Muslim liberal arts college takes root in Berkeley
Posted on 08/29/2010 10:24:34 PM PDT by thecodont
At a fundraiser in February for Zaytuna College, organizers seemed intent on preempting critical questions.
"Why a Muslim College in America?" the Anaheim event was headlined, as if anticipating the query from audience members. And throughout the four-hour gathering, the speakers repeatedly stated why they believed such an institution was needed, calling it an idea whose time has come.
Hatem Bazian, a UC Berkeley lecturer in Near East studies and a co-founder of Zaytuna, said that touch of defensiveness came after more than a year of crisscrossing the country and gauging sentiment from the American Muslim community.
"There's still some lack of clarity from the members of the community whether this is something that is needed at this point or not," Bazian said after the fundraiser. "People need to feel this is something that is needed for them to invest in it."
Zaytuna, which hopes to become the first accredited, four-year Muslim liberal arts college in the United States, this week welcomed its first students to its rented space in a Baptist seminary in Berkeley. The college, which has about a dozen faculty members, will offer two majors at first, in Arabic language and Islamic law and theology.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Students Amanda Shreim, left, and Yasmine Salem give each other high fives after getting an answer right during an intensive summer study of Arabic in Berkeley.
(Bob Chamberlin/Los Angeles Times / August 28, 2010)
Many colleges offer courses in the two "majors" mentioned, but the emphasis on a separate college is interesting.
“Muslim liberal” - 0xymoron alert!
The gay studies and feminist courses should be
Genuinely interesting. You need to read the whole article AND read between the lines. This outfit is aiming for a genuine homegrown Islamic higher education with homegrown instructors and a homegrown curriculum.
The fact that it’s been in the works for a number of years already, has only a handful of faculty and is NOT being covered in petro-dollars by the usual suspects should be noted.
“There are other Muslim higher education institutions in the United States, but Zaytuna officials say the college will be the first to merge Islamic and liberal arts education and, they hope, to be accredited. Zaytuna is seeking accreditation with the Western Assn. of Schools and Colleges and its leaders hope to complete that process by the time its first class graduates.
Zaytuna has sought to emulate American universities in another way by setting the goal of creating a $5-million endowment by the end of this year and a $30-million endowment in five years. When classes began this week, the endowment was about $2 million short.
“The endowment has been going slow,” Shakir said. “It’s a new idea, people are used to investing in more tangible things, like schools or mosques.”
This might be the real thing (i.e. a nascent yankee-doodle-islam) or at least, the beginnings of one. And that’s why it’s unable to raise dough from the perfidious princes.
I heard the course book is "Heather has Two Imams".
Maybe this is a tactic to buy American confidence by INITIALLY appearing to be less threatening and militaristic and theocratic.
A thoroughly open unisex liberal arts college will be unable to conceal any terroristic sieg-heiling or somehow keep its teaching materials under wraps. It can’t keep all its students sworn to secrecy.
This isn’t going to be conducted inside a walled compound.
My thoughts exactly. I can't wait for these people to start butting heads.
Can I get a Sharia Law Degree?
See tag line....>
Because there are so many Muslims here? . . . Oh, wait.
Because Muslims have such a vibrant intellectual life to contribute to . . . Darn.
Because it's so awful back home where everybody's Muslim?
I can’t wait for these people to start butting heads.
Speaking of butting heads, one of the course books is
Miriam, One goat’s story of love.
Yep so true...
Very perplexing, most libs hate all forms of organised religion yet find Islam very acceptable although it is against all of libs core beliefs such as gays,abortion,womens rights etc.....
If they ever established a caliphate in America all libs would be the first to be taken out and stoned for blasphemous beliefs....
I will never figure out libs completely...
“Muslim liberal - Oxymoron alert!”
You beat me to it.
“The college, which has about a dozen faculty members, will offer two majors at first, in Arabic language and Islamic law and theology.”
Definitely a liberal, diverse, inclusive curriculum! Next year it’ll be expanded to include Jihad 101, and Beginners Suicide Bombing.