“Islamic Higher Education in the West: Challenges and Opportunities”
Call for Papers: Zaytuna College Conference on Islamic Higher Education

“Islamic Higher Education in the West: Challenges and Opportunities”

Berkeley, California | Saturday, April 5, 2014

Abstract Deadline: January 20, 2014


The steady increase of Muslim presence in the West over the past thirty years—a trend driven primarily by negative economic and political factors in the Muslim world—has caused tremendous strain on the community’s intellectual, economic, and professional resources, which now support over 2,200 mosques, 475 schools, and a vibrant non-profit sector. While this growth poses profound challenges, it also presents extraordinary opportunities. One area marked by both challenges and opportunities is the effort to establish Islamic institutions of higher education in the West.

This inaugural Zaytuna College conference seeks papers that examine the emerging conversation about institutions of Islamic higher education in the West with an eye toward the challenges facing the community. Papers may address any one or more of the following themes:

  • History: theoretical approaches that place Muslim efforts into historical perspective
  • Philosophy: curriculum design; meaning and end of education
  • Legitimacy: partnerships, affiliations, memoranda of understanding, accreditation, internationalization
  • Authority: traditional religious authority, diversity, and sectarian dynamics
  • Politics: challenges due to the prevailing geopolitical climate vis-à-vis Islam
  • Case Study: studies of specific institutions; comparative analysis of Muslim institutions with competing visions or of Muslim and non-Muslim institutions

Papers need not be limited to the above themes, which are illustrative and not exhaustive. Individual papers will be combined to form thematic panels; pre-organized panels are welcome.

Please submit a 300-word abstract accompanied by a short biography (which will be publicized) no later than January 20, 2014. The abstract should be composed in Microsoft Word and attached to an email addressed to Dr. Hatem Bazian: hbazian@zaytuna.org.

If you have questions or need more information, please contact Stephanie Mirza at smirza@zaytuna.org or by calling 510-295-4461.

Note: No late abstracts will be accepted.