In his talk, Sinanovic gave a panoramic overview of the academic institutions where Islam is studied in the US. He also highlighted main approaches and methods in the study of Islam, based on different institutions’ orientations and affiliations. He divided these institutional approaches into several categories: traditional centers and departments of Near Eastern and Middle Eastern studies, departments of religion and religious studies, departments in humanities and social sciences, academic and professional associations, theological schools and colleges, and Muslim-based colleges and universities. Each institutional setup approaches the study of Islam in a characteristic fashion, based on their orientations and academic methods and biases. Toward the end of the lecture, Dr. Sinanovic highlighted the IIIT’s contributions in the field of Islamic studies in the United States - from endowing chairs in Islamic studies, to various research programs and grants.
This talk was a good opportunity to exchange views on the study of Islam in the US and compare it to the study of Islam in Bosnia and Europe in general. During the Q&A session, the participants also addressed media portrayals of Muslims in the US, and the efforts the American Muslims are exerting to correct the misrepresentation of Islam and Muslims.