Essex County College History Instructor Mikal Naeem Nash has been teaching on the history of Islam for years within his African-American history classes. Now the subject is fully packaged into a single course and will be part of the College’s Associate degree offering – Africana Studies.
Islam and the Global Black Experience (History 205) is a three credit course that will be taught Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. this fall. Information on the class is available by calling Instructor Nash, Division of Humanities, at 973.877.3489.
“The emphasis of the course is on the history of Islam, and how it spread from Arabia to Africa and the Americas,” Nash said. He noted Islam has been around for many centuries, but believes it’s not truly understood by many people today. “We will also look at the culture and the issues of family as it relates to the religion.”
According to the course description, the class will examine such issues facing the American Muslim as gender disputes, ethnic diversity, race, interfaith and intra-faith dialogues, the influence of the Hip Hop culture, the criminal justice system, citizenship, recovery from slavery, social activism and class struggle.
Dean of Liberal Arts S. Aisha Steplight Johnson said, “It’s a course that will expose our students to a different perspective about religion and help them understand it in a modern context.”
Instructor Nash is also the author of Islam among Urban Blacks, which examines the evolution of the Muslim community in Newark.