Monday, August 23, 2010

First Muslim Liberal Arts College Opens in Berkeley

By Chris Thompson
Mon, Aug 23, 2010 at 7:53 AM

Interesting piece in the Oakland Tribune today about the always interesting Hatem Bazian, longtime grad student and ultimately professor from UC Berkeley. Bazian, the paper reports, has opened the country's first four-year liberal arts college with an Islamic emphasis in Berkeley, and he hopes to get it accredited and secure a sustainable endowment from Muslim donors around the nation. Zaytuna College, as it's called, only has fifteen students so far, and it's renting classroom space at a local Baptist seminary; if it passes muster with the accrediting body, the school will offer bachelor's degrees in Islamic law, theology, and Arabic language. It ain't exactly my ideal liberal arts education, but given the dismaying "Ground Zero mosque" hatred swelling up around the country, it's heartening to see Bazian's not backing down.

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