Understanding Muslims in America

Issue Date: 
March 14, 2016

One out of every five people in the world is a Muslim—and six million Muslims reside in the United States. Yet the Islam faith, customs, and culture are sometimes widely misunderstood.

In response, the University of Pittsburgh’s Global Studies Center is offering a weekend course, “Muslims in a Global Context: America,” March 18-20, on the Oakland campus. This course is open and free to the public, and Pitt and Carnegie Mellon University students may take the course for credit. Sessions all three days will take place in 120 David Lawrence Hall. 

Registration is required, tinyurl.com/IslamCourse. Community members may register through March 14. Student registration closed March 4. 

Participants will hear about Muslim immigration to the United States, the cultural integration of Islamic traditions, the compatibility and/or tension between Islamic beliefs and democracy, the cause and impact of Islamophobia, and the post-9/11 impact on forming Muslim identity in America. It is hoped that participants will gain an understanding of the religious, cultural, and political influences of Muslims in America.

Guest lecturers for the course and their topics follow. A complete schedule is available at tinyurl.com/IslamSchedule.

Zaheer Ali, Oral Historian, Brooklyn Historical Society

• “The Roots of American Islam”

• “Islam, the Black Nation, and the Ummah”

Hatem Bazian, Founder, Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project, University of California, Berkeley

• “The Islamophobia Industry” (video conference)

Haider Ala Hamoudi, Associate Professor, Pitt School of Law

• “Shari’a and Law in the Non-Muslim State”

Su’ad Abdul Khabeer, Author, Artist, Activist

• “Muslim Cool: Blackness, Hip-Hop and Muslim Identity”

Saeed A. Khan, Lecturer, Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Wayne State University

• “Muslim Migration Since WWI and Ethnic Tensions”

• “Moral Panics and Islamophobia in the U.S.: Demonizations and Demographic Shifts”

Dalia Mogahed, Director of Research, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

• “American Muslims by the Numbers”

Altaf Husain, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Howard University

• “The Psychological Impact of Growing Up Muslim in a Post-9/11 U.S.”

“Muslims in a Global Context: America” is cosponsored by Pitt’s University Center for International Studies and Department of Political Science, Carnegie Mellon University’s Office of the Provost and Division of Student Affairs, and the Consortium for Educational Resources on Islamic Studies.