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"On the Question of Being Muslim in America," talk at Dana Library - Wed. April 10th

Dr. Zain Abdullah, On the Question of Being Muslim in America talk at Dana Library - Wed. April 10th
Dr. Zain Abdullah

A talk that asks the question, "Why Can't We All Get Along? On the Question of Being Muslim in America," will help unveil a new collection of books and cultural materials that seeks to bridge the gap between Muslims and non-Muslims. Both the talk on April 10 at 2 p.m., and the new collection, are in the John Cotton Dana Library, on the Rutgers-Newark campus.

The talk by Dr. Zain Abdullah, an expert on black Muslims, is free and open to the public, as is the collection. Abdullah, who is writing a book about Muslims in Newark, is a professor in the religion department at Temple University, and also taught at Rutgers-Newark for a number of years.

Rutgers-Newark was awarded the "Muslim Journeys" collection by the National Endowment for the Humanities, in partnership with the American Library Association, in recognition of the campus's religious and ethnic diversity. Rutgers-Newark has been ranked the most diverse national university campus by U.S. News & World Report for 15 years.

The award is though NEH's Bridging Cultures Bookshelf program, which uses the humanities to promote understanding and dispel misconceptions among diverse groups. This year's theme, "Muslim Journeys," will thus focus on all aspects of the Islamic experience through the prisms of art, literature, history, and religion. The award consists of a set of 25 books selected by scholars from around the country, a one-year subscription to Oxford Islamic Studies Online and four DVDs: the PBS documentaries Prince Among Slaves and Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World, the HBO documentary Koran by Heart, and Islamic Art Spots, a series of illustrated video essays. Patrons will be able to check out the items and explore the ideas themselves.

The new collection builds upon Dana Library's efforts to spark informed public conversations about diversity. The library established the Diversity Research Center in 2010 to make Rutgers-Newark a center of the conversation about diversity in higher education and in the public sphere. The Center has created opportunities to enhance understanding about all aspects of diversity through a visiting scholar program, student leadership opportunities such as a peer information counseling program, institutional research related to diversity learning outcomes, and events such as the April 10 talk.

For more information please contact Merve Fejzula, the Dana Library Diversity Research Center at or 973-353-5906.

Posted April 9, 2013