The participants included Omer Awass, assistant professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the American Islamic College in Chicago, Ill.; Salma Kazmi, the Interim Executive Director of the American Islamic Institute based in Boston, Mass.; Jihad Turk, President, and Munir Shaikh, Director of Academic Affairs and Planning, of Bayan Claremont Islamic Graduate School in Claremont, Calif., and Mahan Mirza, Dean of Faculty, and Hatem Bazian, co-founder and Academic Affairs Chair, at Zaytuna College in Berkeley, California.
Generally operating in isolation, this platform enabled these individuals to share their institutions’ successes and challenges with one another. In the process, they recognized common obstacles and offered advice based on their own experiences, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie and community.
The intent of the Consortium is to establish a forum for Islamic higher education in North America to hold joint conferences, create faculty and student exchange programs, share library resources, provide professional development, design standardized curricula, among other activities.
The Consortium members agreed to join forces and meet regularly in order to transform their ideas into reality. The International Institute of Islamic Thought looks forward to hosting many such meetings and facilitating the cooperation among these institutions, insha’Allah.