American Islamic College, Chicago

Chicago's American Islamic College

Chicago’s American Islamic College

In the early 80s, the talk among the Muslim community was Chicago’s newly established American Islamic College. Founded under the auspices of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in 1981, the college’s goal was providing four-year college leading to Bachelor of Arts degrees with an Islamic perspective in subjects like education and social studies, as well as Islamic and Arabic studies. The dream was to serve the Muslim and non-Muslim communities with sound academic programs and active community involvement. The location was certainly conducive to those aims, with facilities built on landmark real estate that afforded both a beautiful campus and good access to other services and universities. “Bittersweet Place” is the road that brings one to the entrance of the college’s 640 W. Irving Park address, and bittersweet exemplifies the story of the American Islamic College. In the late 1990s the university hit a point of stagnation and its accreditation was rescinded.

But just like the proverbial Phoenix, the American Islamic College is rising again – with new blood, renovated facilities and a new outlook.

To begin the dream of reopening, the executive management dug in and began rebuilding the institution they so believed in. Their first obstacle was the facilities themselves. Part of the building has been rented out to a French school and a French Montessori school. The parts of the school that had not been rented out, was left in disrepair for many years. Roofs were leaking, floors were damaged, equipment was ruined. The AIC spent $600, 000 renovating the dorms alone.

Then once they had the facilities in shape, they turned to rebuilding the academic programs that would be the real heart of the university and getting the accreditation to put them in operation. The OIC, in cooperation with the executive management, appointed Chicagoans to the Board of Trustees. These prominent community members brought many years of academic experience to the AIC, and provided the accountability and accessibility that makes for a successful governing body.

Receiving accreditation for a university is not a one-step operation. The AIC has applied through the Illinois Board of Higher Education for Operating Authority. This authority, which will allow AIC to offer for-credit courses, is expected to come through in the next few months. Degree-granting authorization takes a bit longer and the application is in full swing. They hope to be offering for-credit courses in the fall of 2012 and degrees within the next 3 to 5 years. The first degree offerings will include Bachelors and Masters in Islamic Studies and Imam Training. Later degrees in economics, media, political science and other subjects will be available.

Research locally, diffuse globally? American universities, patents and global public health.: An article from: Journal of International Affairs
Book (Columbia University School of International Public Affairs)

Are suicide bombers religious fundamentalists?

by pple

On the another racist front we increasingly have to deal with, the national faux issue of the Islamic boogeyman, I offer y'all some fodder for slapping down the issue when it comes before you in the future.
This is from Robert Pape who taught at the War College, teaches now at the University of Chicago, is very Conservative, and did the only real, empirical study on the subject:
Evidence of the broad nature of Hezbollah's resistance to Israeli occupation can be seen in the identity of its suicide attackers. Hezbollah conducted a broad campaign of suicide bombings against American, French and Israeli targets from 1982 to 1986

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