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No ‘Ho’lding back: Zaytuna Carries Torch for Muslim Education

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Upon reviewing one unique California school, WASC Senior Vice President Richard Winn called it a “life-transforming experience.” He wasn’t referring to AHS, but to a school equally as impressive: Zaytuna College. In March, Zaytuna became the first Islamic university in the U.S. to be accredited by WASC.

Although the liberal arts college is still small, Zaytuna’s accreditation is no less significant. With the tenuous relationship between the U.S. and some Islamic countries, scholars versed in Islamic studies would undeniably be valuable for the country to have. Perhaps more importantly, Muslim students and colleges may finally be accepted as equals to any other in the nation.

But of course, with every step taken by Muslims in the U.S., the predictable naysayers will try to discredit the achievement. In regard to Zaytuna, Fox News concocted the headline “Muslim college co-founded by anti-Israel firebrand receives accreditation.” In spite of the glowing review from WASC, the article presents the college as suspicious and threatening, rather than something to be welcomed.

Critics should understand that Islam is not incompatible with Western society, as Zaytuna’s curriculum addresses. Alongside Arabic and Islamic law, Zaytuna students read Wordsworth, study rhetoric and perform community service, according to the Washington Post — no different than any of us.

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