- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
- Obama ‘birther’ theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- U.S. drone faulted for killing 14 ‘innocent civilians’ at Yemen wedding
- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
CITIZEN JOURNALISM: Muslim college backed
One of Egypt’s senior Muslim clerics supports the concept of a Muslim college being established in the United States, telling The Washington Times last week that it would help foster better relations between the West and the Muslim world.
“Things like the Zaytuna College are definitely a step in the right direction,” said Sheik Ali Gomaa, who was in Washington last week as part of a two-day conference, A Common Word Between Us and You: A Global Rights Agenda, held at Georgetown University.
Zaytuna College is expected to open next year in Berkeley, Calif., where it will offer Arabic language and Islamic legal and theological studies. The plan includes becoming a fully accredited, four-year college.
One of Zaytuna’s co-founders is Sheik Hamza Yusuf, who, after a meeting with President George W. Bush following the Sept. 11 attacks, commented, “Islam was hijacked.”
Zaytuna co-founders and Sheik Gomaa say the school would fulfill educational and cultural needs that have long been ignored.
“There are several million Muslims in the United States and rapidly growing Muslim populations in Canada, Great Britain and Western Europe. Yet, there are no accredited academic institutions capable of training students in the varied sciences of Islam while also instilling in them a sophisticated understanding of the intellectual history and culture of the West,” officials say at zaytunacollege.org. “Clearly, there is an essential need for Muslim institutions that can wed Islam’s classical texts with the contemporary context.”
Zaytuna also could help in the war on terror.
Christians and Muslims have said fighting extremism means reaching out to moderates, teaching younger Muslims that Islam rejects violence and hatred, and finding common ground - such as love of God.
Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the world’s pre-eminent Islamic college, supports Zaytuna, said the sheik, who hopes the two institutions of higher learning will cooperate in several ways, including a student-exchange program.
“These are means we can explore. An exchange program can be one way to further dialogue and engagement,” Sheik Gomaa said.
Engagement and dialogue are key to dispelling misperceptions and falsehoods in the West about Islam and misperceptions and falsehoods in the Muslim world about the West.
The sheik laid out his priorities in a meeting with editors and reporters at The Washington Times on Tuesday.
No. 1 is education, followed by the media and social cooperation.
He singled out curriculum and historic texts and documents.
“We are in dire need of reviewing curriculum” and rewriting texts to remove “false” perceptions, the sheik said.
About the Author
Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of ...
- SIMMONS: Pictures of Obama and 'Dane' lady don't lie
- SIMMONS: Mandela: May the man of many roles rest in peace
- SIMMONS: Obama visits Southeast D.C. with minimum wage on his mind
- SIMMONS: Mayor Gray has only himself to outrun in campaign
- SIMMONS: Jack Kent Cooke's legacy continues to produce winners
Latest Blog Entries
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- Broncos-Chargers game ends with several stabbings
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Kim Jong-un consolidating power or losing grip on North Korea's military
- Inside China: Ukraine gets nuclear umbrella
- Echoes of Cold War in Ukraine as Russia tries to rein in former Soviet satellites
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- American missing in Iran was CIA operative who went rogue - Washington Times#pagebreak#pagebreak
- Medicare pays full price for half-empty vials of medicine
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow