HashimKamali

Tuesday, 26 August 2014 15:20

The Teaching of Islam in Western Universities: Reflections and Impressions

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Introduction

The teaching of Islam in Western Universities is a work in progress; it faces challenges and raises questions. It has no privileged position, and even the understanding of what it means often lacks precision. Alongside Arabic, the basic Islamic discipline such as Qur'anic exegesis, hadith, jurisprudence, scholastic theology and Sufism should be included. To this should be added the study of the history of Muslim societies, contemporary as well as across the 14th centuries of the Islamic experience of Muslim communities.This spread is not evenly covered, even in universities where the study of islam has a place.By and large, courses relating to Islam (where available)are either specialized, attracting small numbers of students, or set in a political science framework designed to attract students who have an interest generated by the "war on terror".In fact Islam is rarely presented as a religion, and all that this implies.

 

By Mohammad Hashim Kamali and Zarina Nalla

Excerpt from The Teaching and Study of Islam in Western Universities, Ed. Paul Morris, William Shepard, Toni Tidswell and Paul Trebilco. New York: Routledge, 2014.

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