Target: Hamza Yusuf, President of Zaytuna College
Goal: Express congratulations to Zaytuna College for becoming the first fully accredited Muslim university in America.
Berkeley, California’s Zaytuna College has recently been formally accredited as an academic institution, becoming the first officially recognized Islamic institution of higher learning in the United States. This is a milestone for American religious and cultural pluralism. Applaud the university for achieving this historical landmark.
The United States has a wealth of private religious universities, but they are overwhelmingly Christian in ideology and denomination. Some Jewish and Buddhist universities also exist, but Zaytuna College is the first of its kind in the country for Islam.
It’s an admittedly small university, with a student body of around 30 students and only offering Bachelor’s degrees in Islamic theology and law, but that does not minimize the significance of this achievement. The founders of the university hope that this accreditation will clear the path for other Islamic institutions of higher learning to be founded stateside, and indeed help to fight against the stigma attached to Muslims and Islam in America.
This accreditation takes place after almost six years of fighting on the part of the university’s founders for full academic recognition. Sign the petition below to express congratulations to the leaders of Zaytuna College for finally achieving this significant milestone.
Dear President Yusuf,
I am writing you today regarding the recent full academic accreditation of Zaytuna College. I wanted to take the time to applaud you and the rest of the team behind the university for this landmark achievement for religious and cultural pluralism.
As the first fully-accredited Islamic institution for higher learning in the country, the significance of your achievement cannot be overstated. As you no doubt know, Muslims and Islam in general are the targets of deplorable stigmatization, discrimination, and violence in America. The introduction of Islamic universities in the country should go a long way towards combatting those prejudices among the swaths of Americans who hold to them.
By hosting events, facilitating dialogue, and increasing the visibility of the Muslim community, Zaytuna College will be an incredible force for good. Additionally, now that yours has successfully been fully accredited, more Islamic colleges will hopefully be able to follow in your footsteps.
Muslim Americans have the same right to attend a college that shares their religion as Christian Americans have to attend a Christian college, Jewish Americans have to attend a Jewish college, and Buddhist Americans have to attend a Buddhist college. I congratulate you for helping your community finally be able to do that.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Adnen1985 via Wikimedia Commons