Bayan Claremont Goes to ISNA
Bayan Claremont made its debut attendance at the 49th annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which took place in Washington D.C. from Aug. 31 - Sept. 3, 2012. The event serves as the largest national gathering of Muslims from all backgrounds, featuring notable scholars, activists and organizational leaders addressing attendees’ interests, commenting on issues of the day, and providing networking opportunities. Professors Najeeba Syeed-Miller and Munir Shaikh engaged leaders of ISNA and other educational institutions regarding Bayan’s role as a Islamic graduate college at Claremont Lincoln University, furthering a collaborative spirit. Furthermore, throughout the convention, they engaged visitors to our booth in the exhibition hall, describing the degree programs and possible career tracks for graduates. Syeed-Miller observed, “We found that many convention participants were appreciative of and interested in Bayan's unique approach to religious education. There is a great demand for credible and relevant Muslim institutions of higher education and our visit to ISNA confirmed our assumption.”
Muslim community members expressed excitement to know about Bayan as an accredited higher education option for those working in mosques, community organizations and schools, and for undergraduates seeking further training that equips them for leadership positions. Shaikh noted, “Nationwide, Muslim institutions are beginning to place more emphasis on professional development and wish to hire staff with relevant credentials to go along with religious knowledge and in-the-trenches experience.” Many also affirmed that online courses and degree programs would be increasingly welcome. The fact that Bayan Claremont provides an environment for intra-faith as well as interfaith exploration was uniquely attractive to many who expressed support for our efforts.
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