Muslim Studies Minor

Approved for Fall 2024, the Muslim Studies minor in the Ethnic Studies department focuses on Muslim experience in the Americas in the broader context of Islam as religion, civilization and sociopolitical framework. The minor combines coursework in ethnic studies, history and philosophy to present an interdisciplinary, intersectional study of Muslim communities and Islamic thought. The following courses are currently available.

 

Coursework (15-16 units)

 

ES 100 - Introduction to Social Justice in Communities of Color 

Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: GE-F-ES; Social Justice
A survey of social justice movements in communities of color beginning with the 1968 Third World Liberation Strikes at SFSU and UC Berkeley. Course considers the formation of Ethnic Studies and ongoing relationship between social justice and Ethnic Studies scholarship.       

Student Learning Outcomes
  1. Students will be able to: Define social justice and apply to issues facing communities of color in the US;
  2. Explain strategies deployed by activists when fighting to resist racism and transform social structures;
  3. Recognize the complexity, heterogeneity and power dynamics between and within racialized groups in the US;
  4. Research and write effectively, in individual and collaborative contexts, on issues, ideas, perspectives, and values that affect people of color in the United States.

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CORE COURSE

ES 395 - Muslims in the Americas

Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-D; DiversityExamines Muslim experience in the Americas from the 16th century to the present. Explores articulations of Islam in sociohistorical context through topics including intersectional identities, political engagement, religious conversion, immigration, community development, racism/Islamophobia, cultural expression, civil rights and activism.
Student Learning Outcomes
  1. Identify key themes and events in the history of Muslim American communities since the sixteenth century, from conquest and enslavement to waves of immigration and conversion;
  2. Contextualize Muslim American experience in global and historical perspective, with attention to religious and cultural features;
  3. Compare how individuals, ethnicities and organizations have articulated Muslim identity, culture and politics;
  4. Analyze racialization of American Muslims through discourses of Orientalism, Islamophobia, anti-Black racism and xenophobia; and
  5. Evaluate contemporary Muslim struggles for civil rights, inclusion and justice.
 

 

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CORE COURSE

ES 396 - Muslim American Activism: Beyond Islamophobia, Orientalism and Empire

Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-D; Social JusticeThis course identifies ideologies of racism such as Islamophobia, Orientalism and xenophobia that target American Muslims in the 21st century. It examines racialization and surveillance of Muslims after 9/11, while focusing on political, social, religious and cultural activism.
Student Learning Outcomes
  1. Analyze racialization of American Muslims through discourses of Islamophobia, Orientalism and xenophobia;
  2. Identify practices in law, policy and media used to discriminate against Muslim American communities;
  3. Compare activist strategies of Muslim individuals, organizations, social movements, communities; and
  4. Evaluate contemporary Muslim American discourses on civil rights, self-determination and justice.


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ES 344 - Malcolm X: Third World Revolutionary

Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-D; Social Justice
An intensive seminar course that examines the life and political/cultural influence of the iconic third world revolutionary known variously as Malcolm Little, Detroit Red, Malcolm X, and El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz.

Student Learning Outcomes
  1. Students will develop a comprehensive understanding of the details of the life of Malcolm X Students will develop a comprehensive understanding of the evolution of political, cultural, and spiritual theories and practices of Malcolm X
  2. Students will understand the lasting political and cultural influence of Malcolm X within the context of a broad diversity and heterogenity of Black social and political movements (SLO #3)
  3. Students will develop the ability the ability to apply the political, cultural, and spiritual ideas of Malcolm X, particularly those that focus on internal colonialism and resistance, to contemporary American and global politics (SLO #5)

 

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ES 370 - South Asian American Communities

Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-D; Diversity

This course examines salient issues in contemporary South Asian American communities with origins in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Nepal. It combines historical and social analysis with a focus on community-based activism. 
Student Learning Outcomes 
  1. Identify key themes and events in the history of South Asian American communities since the nineteenth century;
  2. Contextualize South Asian American experience in global and historical perspective, with attention to political and cultural features;
  3. Compare how individuals, ethnicities and organizations have articulated South Asian identity, culture and politics;
  4. Analyze racialization of South Asian Americans through discourses of Orientalism and xenophobia; and
  5. Evaluate contemporary struggles for civil rights, inclusion and justice.

 

HIST 363 - The Middle East and the Rise of Islamic Societies

Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C; Social Justice Middle East from 600 from 1750. Beginnings of Islam; establishment of Muslim rule from Spain to Central Asia; emergence of Islamic civilization and contributions by non-Muslims; religious, political, and intellectual debates; contacts with Europe and Asia; establishment of Turkish power. 
Student Learning Outcomes 
  1. Know basic analytic concepts for interpreting historical evidence relating to the pre-modern Middle East.
  2. Achieve digital literacy in accessing and presenting information about major figures, ideas and events in pre-modern Middle Eastern history.
  3. Demonstrate significant knowledge of major events and trends in pre-modern Middle Eastern history.
  4. Write and speak clearly and persuasively about events and trends in pre-modern Middle Eastern history, and work collaboratively with others in solving problems relating to social justice, and diversity in the pre-modern Middle East.
  5. Provide original interpretation of assigned sources, and accurately reference all sources in coursework.
  6. Comprehend how differences and similarities among diverse peoples and cultures over time shaped the history of the pre-modern Middle East.

 

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HIST 364 - The Modern Middle East

Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C; Social Justice Emergence of states and societies of the modern Middle East.  Disintegration of pre-modern empires and evolution from traditional societies into modern nation-states of the Arab world, Turkey, and Iran; responses to Western colonialism; socio-religious reform; nationalism, pan-Arabism, and Islamism. 

Student Learning Outcomes 

  1. use a disciplinary perspective to analyze issues of social justice and equity;
  2. describe the challenges to achieving social justice; and
  3. identify ways in which individuals and/or groups can contribute to social justice within local communities, nations, or the world.
  4. Know basic analytic concepts for interpreting historical evidence relating to the modern Middle East.
  5. Achieve digital literacy in accessing and presenting information about major figures, ideas and events in modern Middle Eastern history.
  6. Demonstrate significant knowledge of major events and trends in modern Middle Eastern history and society from the rise of Ottoman power in the 16th century to the present.
  7. Write and speak clearly and persuasively about events and trends in modern Middle Eastern history, and work collaboratively with others in solving problems relating to social justice and diversity in the modern Middle East.
  8. Provide original interpretation of assigned sources, and accurately reference all sources in coursework.
  9. Comprehend how differences and similarities among diverse peoples and cultures over time shaped the history of the modern Middle East.
  10. Show familiarity with the impact of western imperialism on the modern Middle East, as well as the intellectual challenge posed by post-Enlightenment colonial European powers.
  11. Understand the role the Middle East has come to play in the international trade, financial relationships, and politics of the modern world.
  12. Compare and contrast social justice concerns in the modern Middle East and American society, and how religion intersects with the quest for a more just society in both places.

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PHIL 341 - Abrahamic Faiths: Christianity, Judaism, Islam

Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-CStudy of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and others; their beliefs and practices; Abrahamic identity through the history and evolution of the traditions; including readings from the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Bible, the Qur'an, and other core Abrahamic texts. 

Student Learning Outcomes 

  1. write clear, academically rigorous, argumentative essays.
  2. read complex texts, create original arguments, analyze the arguments of others, and express these criticisms orally and in writing
  3. demonstrate knowledge of philosophical and/or religious traditions, their relevant concepts, theories, methods, and historical contexts.
  4. develop their capacities for ethical decision making, Socratic humility, openness to the ideas of others, reflective self-awareness, and a life-long curiosity about big questions.
  5. cultivate an appreciation for a diversity of ideas and values across time and for human difference in areas such as: religion, culture, ethnicity, race, class, sexuality, and gender.

 

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Sliman Mansour, Rituals under Occupation, 1989

Palestine, Arab, and Muslim (PAM) Caucus resolution presented to the California Faculty Asoociation  

RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT PALESTINIANS AND THEIR ALLIES IN THE CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY

WHEREAS, Israel has forced over 1.1 million Palestinians in Gaza (mostly refugees) to flee their homes or risk losing their lives due to escalated military bombings by Israel since October 8, 2023;

WHEREAS, in violation of The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 (Article 3.1), Israel has engaged since early October 2023 in the most severe form of collective punishment and retaliation against the Palestinian people of Gaza, including bombing hospitals, two major universities in Gaza, and United Nations (UN) schools/shelters, with no indications of when or whether the military assault and siege will stop;

WHEREAS, echoing colonial archetypes that seek to rationalize state violence against occupied people, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced on October 9, 2023, Israel’s deadly decision to ban food, water, and electricity to all Gazans because Israel was “fighting human animals”;

WHEREAS, for the last 75 years, Israeli military colonialism, occupation, and apartheid has already caused widespread societal destruction for Palestinians, such that over half the population currently lives in poverty;

WHEREAS, subjected to food rationing, limited mobility in what humanitarian advocates have called an “open air prison”, and widespread denial and limited access to education and employment, Palestinian life is oppressed on all levels;

WHEREAS, according to the United Nations, with no effective amount of humanitarian supplies allowed into Gaza for over a month, more than 2 million Palestinians’ lack of access to clean water will undoubtedly cause pervasive death among this population, violating basic human rights of Palestinian civilians;

WHEREAS, in a further attempt to isolate an already besieged people and prevent news of these atrocities from reaching the international community, the Israeli army has cut off Internet in Gaza;

WHEREAS, to date, the death toll in Gaza stands at over 15,000 people (most of them women and minors), Israeli air strikes on Gaza have killed one child every 10 minutes since October 8, 2023, and these numbers are expected to rise with no end in sight;

WHEREAS, even though it is enshrined in The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 that international law extends special provisions and protection to non-combatants living under occupation, the United Nations has documented the ongoing systemic Israeli human rights violations of Palestinians living under a colonial and apartheid regime;

WHEREAS, Paragraph 139 of the International Court of Justice's advisory opinion on the legality of Israel's separation wall (2004) makes clear that Israel does not enjoy the right to self defense from its own occupied territories under Article 51 of the United Nations charter, and is thus, currently engaging in war crimes;

WHEREAS, according to USAID Data Services, as of January 2023, in constant 2021 USA dollars (inflation-adjusted), total USA aid to Israel from 1946-2023 is an estimated $260 billion, a large part of this used to fund the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Palestinians;

WHEREAS, despite such overwhelming evidence, the United States government and policy makers refuse to acknowledge the gross violations of Palestinian human rights that are enshrined in United States law, including protocols for military aid;

WHEREAS, the ongoing inherent bias in USA mainstream media consistently spotlights the humanity and suffering of individual Israelis while ignoring investigative coverage and reporting about Israel’s crimes, let alone the suffering and pain of individual Palestinians, reducing them to stereotypes and/or statistics

WHEREAS, accusations are rising that social media corporations are purposefully censoring posts (“shadow banning”) that support Palestine, “underscoring longstanding concerns about unfair moderation as war rages in Gaza”;

WHEREAS, attacks on faculty, students, staff, community members, and academic freedoms of those dissenting against Palestinian genocide have alarmingly increased in higher education since the Israeli invasion of Gaza;

WHEREAS, organizations such as the ACLU and activist-scholars such as Angela Davis call for inclusion of Palestinian rights as part of addressing “the need for an internationalist framework within which the ongoing work to dismantle structures of racism, heteropatriarchy, and economic injustice inside the United States can become more enduring and more meaningful;”

BE IT RESOLVED,

The CFA is committed to defending the health, safety, and academic freedom of students, faculty, staff, and community members in the CSU advocating for justice in Palestine. 

The union demands from all administrators in the California State University system:

  • to protect student’s right to walkout of classes, rally, protest, hold teach-ins and other activities;
  • to offer immediate sanctuary (i.e., spaces free from harassment and detention on campus) to all Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) members in the CSU, as well as to any other students, faculty, staff, and community members who speak or act in solidarity with Palestine, or against the ongoing criminalization of Palestine advocacy;
  • to clearly reaffirm CSU’s commitment to enforcing the principles of academic freedom for those teaching on Palestine and Israel and/or for those using the principles of anti-racism and social justice, as laid out in the CFA-CSU Collective Bargaining Agreement and the Academic Senate of the CSU Academic Freedom Policy (2017);
  • to proactively counter any intimidation or doxxing campaigns against any CSU student, faculty or staff member, by mobilizing the CSU’s legal resources to protect them;
  • to provide the necessary university support and resources to protect faculty, staff, students, and community members who stand up against the genocide of Palestinians, as well as faculty, students, and staff whose families and communities are directly impacted by the siege on Gaza; the university will do this irrespective of donor-driven pressures and the corporatization of public institutions.

The CFA also stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people and refuses to allow a new violent displacement of Palestinians, or, “Nakba”

It supports:

  • an immediate ceasefire by Israel on Gaza and a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas;
  • the opening of the Rafah crossing to allow effective humanitarian aid, such as food, fuel, and medical supplies, into Gaza from Egypt; 
  • pressuring the USA government to restore electricity, water, food, and Internet that Israel has cut off to Gaza; 
  • an international, reputable, and unbiased commission to investigate war crimes;
  • an immediate end to all USA military aid to Israel.

Adopted by the Palestine, Arab, and Muslim (PAM) Caucus on 11/6/23.

Endorsements:

CFA Librarians Committee [11/8/23]

CFA Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Executive Board [11/9/23; endorsement
reaffirmed 12/11/23]
 
CFA East Bay Executive Board [11/13/23]
 
CFA Cal Poly Humboldt Executive Board [11/14/23]
 
CFA Los Angeles Executive Board [11/15/23]
 
CFA Chico State Executive Board [11/16/23]
 
CFA Channel Islands Executive Board [11/17/23]
 
CFA San Francisco State Executive Board [11/17/23]
 
CFA Long Beach Executive Board [11/27/23]
 
CFA Dominguez Hills Executive Board [2/15/24]
 
CFA Sacramento Executive Board [3/1/24] 

 

Academic Senates:

CSU East Bay [11/28/23]