The 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.