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DATE: Feb. 4, 2003

Prominent scholars to discuss "Muslim Identity and Religious Pluralism in America" at UM-Dearborn on Feb. 23

DEARBORN---Two internationally known scholars will speak about "Muslim Identity and Religious Pluralism in America" in a free, public presentation at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23 in Room 1030 in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters Building at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

The speakers are Aminah Beverly McCloud, associate professor of Islamic studies at DePaul University in Chicago, and Sulayman Nyang, professor of African Studies at Howard University in Washington D.C. A reception will follow their presentation.

"Southeastern Michigan has one of the largest concentrations of Muslims in America, including immigrants from around the world and native-born adherents representing a wide variety of racial and ethnic groups," according to Claude Jacobs, associate professor of anthropology at UM-Dearborn. "McCloud and Nyang will address the issue of how different groups of Muslims view each other and are establishing an identity as American Muslims as a part of the pluralistic religious landscape of the United States."

McCloud received her doctorate in Islamic studies from Temple University and has authored four books on contemporary Islamic issues and has written numerous articles on topics ranging from Islamic law to Muslim women. She is a Fulbright scholar and managing editor of the Journal of Islamic Law and Culture. She is the founder of the Islam in America conference at DePaul University, which houses the Journal of Islamic Law and Culture and the Islam in America archives, and is also a member of the Centre for Islamic Studies at Oxford University.

Nyang earned a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Virginia. He has served as chair of the Department of African Studies at Howard University and is the lead developer for the African Voices Project of the Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institute. Nyang has served on the boards of the African Studies Association, the American Council for the Study of the Islamic Societies, and the Association of Muslim Social Scientists. He is also a member of the academic council of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and has written numerous books and articles on Islamic, African, and Middle Eastern affairs.

Their presentation at UM-Dearborn is sponsored by the campus's College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters; the Center for the Study of Religion and Society; the Pluralism Project; the African and African American Studies program; and the Muslim Students Association.

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