Shenandoah University is welcoming a new addition to its Scholar Plaza campus in Lansdowne. As of last week, it officially launched a Center for Islam in the Contemporary World.
The center is operated by a board of trustees separate from SU that also raises and contributes funds, but is housed at the university’s satellite campus in Lansdowne to provide easy access to students and staff throughout Northern Virginia.
The idea to create a center of contemporary Islam came from M. Yaqub Mirza, a member of SU’s board of trustees, who helped raise money for the effort and had a vision for a program that would be affiliated with the university.
“The leadership at Shenandoah is really pushing hard this idea of diversity and creating global citizens,” said Ermin Sinanović, the center’s executive director. “They want students to understand the world more, and that includes Islam, the second largest religion in the world.”
The goal is to bring expertise and knowledge about Islam and Muslim in the contemporary contexts to the university’s students and staff.
“We plan to support curriculum development, research, facilitate student recruitment and retention, especially from the Muslim communities, locally and internationally, and to increase global collaboration between SU and universities abroad,” Sinanović said.
The Center for Islam in the Contemporary World will put on summer and winter student programs provided by scholars in Islamic and interfaith studies; offer teacher training workshops to equip K-12 social studies teachers with pedagogical tools to enrich their educational outcomes; and teach courses on Islam and interfaith engagement.
Learn more about the center at contemporaryislam.org. Visit the center on the university’s Scholar Plaza campus at 44160 Scholar Plaza in Lansdowne.