Graduate Liberal Studies Program

Course Description

GLS 592: Islam and America

Instructor: Herb Berg

an american flag with arabic script in gold thereon

In this course we will examine the relationships between the United States and Muslims. The course has two main parts. In the first half of the course we will focus on Muslims living in America. This will include an examination of Muslim African slaves and the trace the development of uniquely American forms of Islam (the Moorish Science Temple, the Nation of Islam, and the Muslim American Society) and their relationship to American culture, politics, and religion, particularly in the 20th century. We will also focus on Muslim Americans who are more recent immigrants, especially those who are of Arab and Persian decent, the unique problems they have adapting and/or assimilating to American culture, and the examination of prejudices faced by Muslim Americans.

The second half of the course will examine the depiction of the "Islamic World" by American news and entertainment media prior to and after the events of September 11, 2001 and the recent war in Iraq. To more thoroughly understand this complex relationship, the second half of the course will also examine the depiction of America in some Muslim media (e.g., al-Jazeera and al-Ahram). In particular, we will compare and contrast the American and "Muslim" news medias' depictions of the events leading up to and during the war in Iraq.

Last Update: January 11, 2012