The First Muslim College Opens in the U.S.

zaytuna collegeThe first four-year Muslim college in the United States will open its doors for its first semester this year.

Zaytuna College is located in Berkeley, California, near the University of California – Berkeley, and will only offer two degree programs this year: Islamic Law and Theology, and Arabic. These degree programs were developed with an ideology of teaching students about Islam, while staying within a Western history and culture context. Another goal of the founders of Zaytuna is to promote a level of understanding between the Western and Islamic worlds.

“We feel the college is very important in that it provides a grounding for the community in its own tradition—not in a sense to create a difference with the larger society, but to actually normalize its presence within the larger society, that there is no contradiction between being an American and being Muslim,” said Hatem Bazian, a co-founder of Zaytuna College.

In my opinion, this is a great idea. Many schools in the U.S. have religious origins, so I feel it’s about time that there is a Muslim college, especially in this day and age, when the religion and its people are so grossly misunderstood and judged.

What are your thoughts? Is this a good idea or a bad idea? Why? Please feel free to post your ideas below.


5 Responses to “The First Muslim College Opens in the U.S.”

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  2. Kels says:

    This is a completely personal opinion and not based on any facts I have researched – just a little disclaimer ;-). But I think that after 9/11, a lot of people turned against Muslims in general. However, it’s almost been 9 years and people have had a lot of time to calm down, heal, and get used to the idea that maybe Islam isn’t such a bad thing. Tempers aren’t flaring like they used to, or maybe even at all. So I think today is the soonest and safest time to start a Muslim college.

  3. ree says:

    A very good idea. Why has it taken so long?

  4. brianc says:

    I’m sure you could study Sharia at any number of colleges. Probably even at Pace University which is (GASP) only a few blocks from Ground Zero.

  5. Brandi says:

    Completely agree Kelsey. I’m honestly shocked by the idea that this is the first. Education promotes understanding.

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