Curriculum

"The Muslim Public Service Network's Summer Program has never been more important than it is today. Having participated in the program in recent years, I believe it's continuation is critical both for younger Muslims and for the broader Muslim community".

- John Esposito, Georgetown University, Professor of Religion and International Affairs

Our unique curriculum and high caliber of program applicants has attracted many prominent Muslim scholars and experts, who have enthusiastically volunteered their time and knowledge to support the program. Each aspect of the MPSN program has proven to be a great potential for personal and career development, and reinforces a Muslim identity based on knowledge, ethics, and service to society.

MPSN focuses on developing a network of American-Muslims with a heightened awareness of Islamic perspectives on public policy making. The academic component of MPSN will reflect this approach and is designed to complement the practical experience gained in the field.

In addition to reinforcing the internship experience, the MPSN curriculum provides a solid foundation that participants build upon through their future academic and professional experiences. Courses are generally held in the evenings and weekends, and readings are assigned to provide greater depth to the program’s educational component.

The goals of these seminars are to:

  • Develop an improved understanding of Islamic and secular viewpoints relating to public policy making and implementation
  • Foster heightened awareness and appreciation of the diversity within the American Muslim community, with an emphasis on developing cohesive leadership rooted in an ethos of knowledge, ethics and public service
  • Analyze the preparation necessary for young American Muslim leadership to protect the human rights of American Muslims and vulnerable communities within American society at-large
  • Develop uniquely Islamic paradigms to analyze issues outside existing models of decision making

The academic component of MPSN familiarizes students with Islamic texts, resources, tools and problem solving principles. Seminar topics include a focus on political, economic and social aspects of Islam; the relevance of Islamic teachings for the contemporary world; and on the application of appropriate methodologies for interpreting and/or reinterpreting Islamic teaching through ijma' (consensus) and ijtihad (interpretation).

Partial List of Previous Guest Speakers

Scholars

  • Dr. Aslam Abdullah, Journalist and Editor, Minaret, Los Angeles
  • Dr. Ahmed Dallal, Prof. Middle Eastern Studies, Yale University
  • Dr. Najib Ghadbain, Prof. Political Science, University of Arkansas
  • Dr. Adnan Husain, Prof. Religious Studies, New York University
  • Dr. Sulayman Nyang, Prof. of African Studies, Howard University
  • Asifa Quraishi, J.D., LL.M., President KARAMA
  • Dr. Yahya Sadowski, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute
  • Dr. Mudassar Siddiqui, President Muslim American Bar Association

Muslim Professional Organizations

  • Dr. Ali Abouzakouk, Secretary, AMC Advisory Board
  • Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Direct, Kashmir American Council
  • Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR
  • Dr. Mudassar Siddiqui, President Muslim American Bar Association

White House and Executive Branch Agencies

  • Rashad Hussain, Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference
  • Huma Abedein, Office Manager, (former) First Lady, Hillary Clinton
  • Mona Mohib, Special Assistant, Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Dr. K. Habib Khan, USAID, South African Desk (Retired)
  • Dr. Islam Siddiqui, Deputy Under Secretary, Department of Agriculture
  • Dr. Ahmed Taha, Former Department of Justice Attorney, Antitrust Division

U.S. Congress

  • The Honorable Jim Bates, former U.S. Congressman, (Retired)
  • Randa Fahmy Hudome, Counsel, Senator Spencer Abraham's office.
  • Fariborz Fatemi, Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
  • Asim Ghafoor, Legislative Assistant, Office of Congressman Ciro D. Rodriguez (Retired)
  • Akram Khan, Multimedia Designer, Senate Republican Conference
  • Suhail Khan, Press Secretary, Office of (former) Congressman Tom Campbell
  • Sharifa Rafiullah, Congressional Fellow, Office of Senator Tom Daschle (Retired)
  • Arshie Siddiqui, Legislative Aide, Office of Congresswoman Eva Clayton (Retired)
  • Saira Sultan, Chief Counsel, Senate Labor & Human Resources Committee

Profiles of Selected Speakers

Dr. John Esposito

Professor of Religion, International Affairs, and Islamic Studies, Georgetown University
Founding Director of Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University

Esposito specializes in Islam, political Islam from North Africa to Southeast Asia, and Religion and International Affairs. He is editor-in-chief of the four-volume The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, The Oxford History of Islam, The Oxford Dictionary of Islam and The Islamic World: Past and Present. His more than thirty books include Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam, The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality?, Islam and Politics, Political Islam: Radicalism, Revolution or Reform?, Islam and democracy (with J. Voll).

Dr. Jamillah Karim

Assistant Professor of Religion, Spelman College
Interactive Seminar:  ‘Indigenous-Immigrant American Muslim Relations'

Dr. Karim obtained her Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at Duke University. Her research and teaching interests include Islam in America, Muslim Women and Islamic Feminism, Muslims in the United States (African American, South Asian and Arab), Race and Ethnicity, Immigration and Transnational Identity, World Religions, Islamic Civilization and Culture, and Interpretation of the Qur’an.  She is completing a book project tentatively titled, Imagining the American Ummah: Muslim Women Negotiate Race, Class, and Gender.

Dr. Karim is the author of several articles, including:

  • "Between Immigrant Islam and Black Liberation: Young Muslims Inherit Global Muslim and African American Legacies"
  • "Voices of Faith, Faces of Beauty: Empowering American Muslim Women Through Azizah Magazine"

Dr. Sulayman Nyang

Professor of African Studies, Howard University
Interactive Seminar: ‘History of Islam in America’

Dr. Nyang has served as consultant to several national and international agencies. He has served on the boards of the African Studies Association, the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies and the Association of Muslim Social Scientists.

Dr. Nyang has written extensively on Islamic, African and Middle Eastern affairs. His best known works are Islam in America (1994); Islam, Christianity and African Identity (1984), A Line in the Sand: Saudi Arabia’s Role in the Gulf War (1995), co-authored with Evan Heindricks, and Religious Plurality in Africa, co-edited with Jacob Olupona. Professor Nyang has also contributed over a dozen chapters in books edited by colleagues writing on Islamic, African and Middle Eastern subjects. His numerous scholarly pieces have appeared in African, American, European and Asian journals.

Complete list of Dr. Nyang’s publications.

Asifa Quraishi, JD, LLM, SJD

Assistant Professor of Law at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Interactive Seminar ‘Introduction to Islamic Law’, main topics covered:

  • Islamic Legal Theory (Usul ul-Fiqh principles, Nature of Ijtihad, Madhhab Methodologies)
  • Comparative Insights to Western/American Norms of Law and Government
  • Additional session on career choices for Law Students and Lawyers

Professor Quraishi is a specialist in Islamic law and legal theory. Her expertise ranges from U.S. law on federal court practice to constitutional legal theory, with a comparative focus in Islamic law. Her professional experience includes serving as a judicial law clerk with Judge Edward Dean Price on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California and as the death penalty law clerk for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Her most recent publication is No Altars: a Survey of Islamic Family Law in the United States, in Women's Rights and Islamic Family Law, Lynn Welchman, editor (Zed Books 2004) with co-author Najeeba Syeed-Miller.

Professor Quraishi is a founding member of:

  • National Association of Muslim Lawyers (NAML)
  • American Muslims Intent on Learning and Activism (AMILA)

She is an associate of the Muslim Women's League, and has served as past president and board member of Karamah: Muslim Women for Lawyers for Human Rights.

Futher information about Professor Quraishi.

Jameel Aalim Johnson

Chief of Staff, Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY)

Johnson has served as the Chief of Staff for Congressman Meeks since 1998. His duties include hiring and supervision of staff, managing the annual budget and advising the Congressman on economic development issues and opportunities as they relate to the district. He also provides the Congressman with staff support on the Financial Services Committee.

Mr. Johnson is the founder and the current President of the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association and the Vice President of the bipartisan House Administrative Assistants Association.

Kareema Dauod

Dauod is currently pursuing a doctorate in Arabic language, literature and linguistics at Georgetown University. She also is serving in the State Department where she works on public diplomacy initiatives involving the Middle East. In her capacity as citizen ambassador to Under Secretary Karen Hughes, Kareema traveled with Hughes to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey in 2005 to promote ongoing dialogue and good relations between those countries and the United States. More recently she was part of the U.S. delegation to the 2006 U.N. Commission on the Status of Women.

Georgetown University’s Newspaper, "The Hoya", interviewed Dauod on her trip to the Middle East as citizen ambassador to Under Secretary Karen Hughes.

Intisar Rabb (MPSN 1998)

Rabb is currently pursuing a joint JD/PhD in comparative American and Islamic law. She graduated from Yale Law School in 2006 and is currently writing her dissertation at Princeton University on legal maxims as interpretive tools in the two legal systems.

Rabb serves as a consultant for the MPSN curriculum and has lectured on the Islamic Sciences Module during the 2006 program, leading an exploration of the foundations of Islamic jurisprudence and the major issues that arise in its application today.

Ahmed Younis

National Director of Muslim Public Affairs Council

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), a public advocacy organization working towards the integration of American Muslims into American political and civic institutions. Mr. Younis is the author of American Muslims: Voir Dire (Speak the Truth), a post September 11th analysis of American Muslim identity.

Ahmed is frequently invited to speak on issues affecting the American Muslim community. In 2006 he was invited by the State Department to lead public diplomacy missions to Central Asia, Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany. Ahmed is also a frequent guest on national and international media, including PBS, FOX News, CNN International, BBC and Al Jazeera. He is a member of the US-Muslim World Advisory Committee at the US Institute of Peace.

Before joining MPAC, Ahmed worked at the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations and was assigned to the Office of the Special Advisor to the Secretary General on Iraq. Mr. Younis is a graduate of Washington & Lee School of Law.

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