Skip Navigation

Islam in America

New UCLA Extension course explores the American Muslim experience

This course provides a contextualized introduction to Islam through an examination of the myriad Muslim communities in the United States. It explores the challenges faced by adherents of the Muslim faith in this country in terms of their relations with the state, with non-Muslim Americans, and with other Muslims of differing tendencies. In addition, the course considers the burgeoning role of American Muslims in contributing to contemporary discourses on Islam in the greater Islamic world. Finally, it investigates American views of Islam and scrutinizes myths about Muslims' perspectives of the United States.

Beginning with a concise introduction to the history of Islam and the principle doctrines and rituals of the faith, instruction briefly compares issues concerning Muslims in Western Europe and in the US. The history and practices of diverse congregations in the US, including cultural, civic, and political contributions of each, also are examined. Other topics include immigrant Muslim communities; African-American Muslim congregations; the experience of Muslim women in America; Islam and the media; Islamic spaces; legal questions; policy issues; populist and pietist Sufism; and Sunni, Shiite, and other Muslim collectives.

David Simonowitz, PhD in Islamic Studies, UCLA, is the instructor.  The course meets Thursday evenings, 7:00 to 10:00 PM, in Royce Hall 148, April 6 through June 22.  For further information, see Islamics XL 197A on the UCLA Extension website.


Center for Near Eastern Studies