The proposed Zaytuna College would be a first: a four-year, accredited, Islamic college in the United States.
"Part of the process of indigenizing Islam in America is for the community to begin to develop its own leadership from inside the country, develop its own scholars," said Hatem Bazian, chair of the management board for Zaytuna College and a senior lecturer of Near Eastern studies at the University of California at Berkeley.
"There is a growing need in the Muslim community to provide a variety of trained specialists to fulfill a growing and diverse community infrastructure and institutional framework," Bazian said -- to work as imams, as chaplains, or within the growing network of Islamic non-profit organizations. Currently, Bazian said, American students who seek a high-level Islamic education must study in the Muslim world.
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