Academic Programs 
      

Islam in America and Western Europe    (HI-665)
January Interession and Winter/Spring 2007

This course considers the historical and current realities of Muslims in the West, including the rise and development of Islamic institutions and forms of leadership, Muslim worship and devotional life, Islamic education and the range of issues involved in living as Muslims in western society.

 

Meeting Day, Time and Dates: 
Wednesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 6:50 p.m., beginning January 31



Jane I. Smith
Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations
 

Contact Information:
phone:

email:

 

Course Syllabus



General Description:

Islam is said to be the fastest growing religion in America, and is second to Christianity in all the countries of Western Europe. Since the events of 9-11 relationships between Muslim communities and their host nations in both America and Europe have faced new challenges. This course considers the historical and current realities of Muslims in the West, including the rise and development of Islamic institutions and forms of leadership, Islamic education and the range of issues involved in living as Muslims in a western society, and new roles for Muslim women. Attention will be given to the circumstances of immigrants and American- or European-born Muslims.

Required Reading:

1. Books to be purchased (available in Seminary bookstore):

a. Joceylne Cesari, When Islam and Democracy Meet. Muslims in Europe and the United States
b. Garbi Schmidt, Islam in Urban America
c. Tariq Ramadan, To Be a European Muslim.

2. Selected essays available on reserve in the library for copying and reading.

Topics of Class Sessions:

Week One (January 30): Introduction

Reading:
Jane Smith and Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, “Islam in the United States of America” [circulated on e-mail]

Week Two (February 7): Overview of Islam in America

a. Religion in America
b. American Islam

Reading:
Garbi Schmidt, Islam in Urban America, chapters 1-2
Joceylne Cesari, When Islam and Democracy Meet, pp. 1-42
Karen Isaksen Leonard, Muslims in the United States, chapter one

Week Three (February 14): Immigrant and immigrant-related American Muslims
[first team meeting]

Reading:
Garbi Schmidt, Islam in Urban America, chapter 3
Aminah McCloud, Transnational Muslims in American Society, pp.80-110
Yvonne Haddad, “The Dynamics of Islamic Identity in North America,” In Haddad and Esposito, eds., Muslims on the Americanization Path, pp. 19-46.

Week Four (February 21): African American Muslims

Reading:
Jane Smith, Islam in America, chapter 4
Sherman Jackson, Islam and the Blackamerican. Looking Toward the Third Resurrection, pp. 23-57
Joceylne Cesari, When Islam and Democracy Meet, chapter 3

FIRST WRITTEN ESSAY DUE FEBRUARY 21

Week Five (February 28): Becoming Muslim

Reading:
Yvonne Haddad, “The Quest for Peace in Submission: Reflections on the Journey of American Muslim Converts to Islam,” in Karin van Nieuwkerk, Women Embracing Islam. Gender and Conversion In the West, pp. 19-47.
Joceylne Cesari, When Islam and Democracy Meet, chapter 4

Week Six (March 7): American Shi‘ism; Muslim mosques and organizations
[second team meeting]

Reading:
Abdulaziz Sachedina, “A Minority Within a Minority: The Case of the Shi‘a in North America,” in Yvonne Haddad and Jane Smith, eds, Muslim Communities in North America, pp. 3-14
Muhammad Nimer, “American Muslim Organizations: Before and After 9/11, in Philippa Strum, ed., Muslims in the United States, pp. 5-17
Akel Ismail Kahera, Deconstructing the American Mosque. Space, Gender And Aesthetics, pp. 91-144 [read selectively]
Garbi Schmidt, Islam in Urban America, chapters 4-5

Week Seven (March 14): Muslim Women in America

Reading:
Yvonne Haddad, Jane Smith and Kathleen Moore, Muslim Women in America, pp. 3-20
Gwendolyn Zohara-Simmons, “Are we up to the challenge: The need for a radical re-ordering of the Islamic discourse on women,” in Omid Safi, ed., Progressive Muslims, 235-48.
Amina Wadud, “The Role of Women in the American-Muslim Community and Their Impact on Perceptions of Muslim Women Worldwide,” in Philippa Strum, ed., Muslims in the United States, pp. 191-202

Week Eight (March 21): What IS American Islam? and Christian-Muslim relations
[third team meeting]

Reading:
M.A. Muqtedar Khan, “Living on Borderlines. Islam Beyond the Clash And Dialogue of Civilizations,” in Zahid Bukhari and Sulayman Nyang, eds., Muslims’ Place in the American Public Square, pp. 84-113.
Garbi Schmidt, Islam in Urban America, chapter 6
Joceylne Cesari, When Islam and Democracy Meet, chapters 5-6 [NOTE: Class discussion of Cesari Parts I and II]

SECOND WRITTEN ESSAY DUE MARCH 21

Week Nine (March 28): Overview of Islam in Europe

Reading:
Peter Mandaville, “Towards a Critical Islam: European Muslims and the Changing Boundaries of Transnational Religious Discourse,” in Stefano Allievi and Jorgen Nielsen, Muslim Networks and Transnational Communities in and across Europe, pp. 127-145.

Week Ten (April 4): Islam in Northern Europe

a. Great Britain
b. Scandanavia (Sweden, Norway, Denmark)

Week Eleven (April 11): Islam in Middle Europe

a. Germany
b. The Netherlands

Reading:
Joceylne Cesari, Part III [Class discussion]


Week Twelve (April 18): Islam in Southern Europe

a. France
b. Spain and Italy

Reading:
Tariq Ramadan, To Be a European Muslim, Part II [Class
Discussion]

Week Thirteen (May 2): Lecture by Joceylne Cesari

Course Requirements:

a. Reading and class discussion of assigned texts and articles.
b. Two 3-page written reviews of assigned readings.
c. A group presentation to the class about Islam in one area of Western Europe. You will work in teams doing research and deciding on your presentation. Some basic research materials will be on library reserve; students are also expected to do research on-line. Presentations should include a description of the general situation, problems and possible solutions and (if possible) suggestions of how circumstances for Muslims in Europe compare in general with those of Muslims in America. Group presentations should be no longer than 45 minutes and must be accompanied by a brief hand-out for the class.
d. A 10-page essay on Islam in one of the countries of Western Europe.

 

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