A group of twelve French Muslims who are studying for a degree in Islamic Studies at IIIT France recently completed an intensive certificate program on History and Sociology of Islam in America at The Fairfax Institute at IIIT. They stayed in the Washington, D.C. area from February 14 to February 21.
The intensive program included lectures and guided field visits during the day, and dinner lectures in the evening all week from Monday, February 16 to Friday, February 20. The certificate program consisted of min-courses on History of Islam in America, Muslims in American Public Life; Culture and Assimilation; Demographics, Mosques and Organizations; Islam, Other Religions and Foundations of the American Political System.
On Monday Professor Sulayman Nyang taught the group and guided them on visits to the National Museum of American History, Masjid Muhammad and Collections and Stories of American Muslims (CSAM). Imam Yusuf Saleem of Masjid Muhammad and Amir Muhammad of CSAM addressed the group.
On Tuesday Dr. Zahid Bukhari taught the group and guided them on visits to Council of American-Islamic Relations, where Executive Director Nihad Awad, Public Relations Director Ibrahim Hooper, and Gievrnement Relatiosn Directro Corey Saylor addressed the, Then they visited Capitol Hill where members of Muslim Congressional Staffers Association (MCSA) Assad Akhter and Diala Jadallah met and spoke to the group.
On Wednesday, the group was taught by Dr. Omar Altalib, followed by an afternoon of presentations and discussion about IIIT, led by IIIT Vice President Dr. Jamal Barzinji. Dr. Hisham Altalib, Dr. Abubaker Al-Shingieti and Dr. Iqbal Unus also spoke at this session.
The group attended the "American Mosque in the 21st Century" conference organized by the American Muslim Studies Program at Georgetown University on Thursday. The all-day conference was attended by several leaders of the area Muslim community and addressed by scholars and practitioners in the field of American Muslim studies.
On Friday, Dr. Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad taught them in the morning, followed by a visit to All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center for Jumu’a and presentation and meeting with ADAMS’ officials. This was followed by the concluding session in late afternoon when participants made oral presentation and received their certificates of achievement.
The visiting French Muslims included five women and seven men from a diverse background and several professions from accounting to media. For almost all of them this was their visit to the United States and an opportunity to compare and contrast Muslim life in America and France.