Panel Discussion on American Islam

Event time: 
Monday, October 25, 2010 - 11:00am
Event description: 

Hallowed Ground?

American Islam and the Politics of Space

WLH 309

presented with the Yale Initiative for the Study of Material and Visual Cultures of Religion, the Office of the Chaplain, the Program in American StudiesPublic Humanities at Yale, and the Department of Religious Studies

A scholarly panel will examine, contextualize, and historicize underlying assumptions about space and belonging vis-à-vis Islam in the United States. Sally M. Promey, Professor of Religion and Visual Culture and Professor of American Studies, will offer words of welcome.


Moderator: Perin Gurel, American Studies, Yale University
Panelists: Matthew Jacobson, American Studies, Yale University
  Zaheer Ali, History, Columbia University
  Rosemary Hicks, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Humanities, Tufts University

Haroon Moghul, Middle East and South Asian Studies, Columbia University


The Panelists

Matthew Frye Jacobson is chair of the American Studies program at Yale, and author of several books on immigration and race in U.S. culture, including Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race and Barbarian Virtues: The U.S. Encounters Foreign Peoples at Home and Abroad, 1876-1917.   He is now at work on a multimedia documentary devoted to hope and despair in our current historical moment, soon to be published on a website called

Haroon Moghul graduated from NYU with a B.A. in Philosophy and Middle Eastern Studies, and holds an M.A. and M.Phil. from Columbia University in Middle East, South Asian and African Studies. He is currently a Ph.D. Candidate at Columbia, focusing on Islamist political theory in colonial India. Mr. Moghul is Executive Director of The Maydan Institute, a consulting and communications project devoted to enhancing understanding between Muslims and the West. He has served as Director of Public Relations for the Islamic Center at NYU (2007-09), and has been selected a global Muslim Leader of Tomorrow, participating in the Third Annual Doha Conference. His first novel: The Order of Light (Penguin 2006; French translation by Cherche Midi, 2007). His writings have appeared in a variety of media, including Huffington Post, Religion Dispatches and Tikkun, as well as the Tabah Foundation of Abu Dhabi. Through the Islamic Center at NYU new media services, his sermons reach over 30,000 listeners per month in approximately 125 countries.

Rosemary Hicks is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Humanities at Tufts University and received her PhD in Religion from Columbia University.  Her focus is on Islam in the United States and Imam Feisal’s organizations and the Masjid al-Farah in lower Manhattan were the subject of her ethnographic and historical research from 2004 to 2009. 

Zaheer Ali has taught courses on Islam in the African American Experience, and Malcolm X, at Columbia University & NYU respectively. He served as project manager of Columbia’s Malcolm X Research Project and as a lead researcher for Manning Marable’s forthcoming comprehensive biography of Malcolm X. He is also senior advisor on New Muslim Cool, the first full-length documentary film project to explore the formation of indigenous American Muslim culture and its deep connections to hip-hop and African American and Latino cultural and social justice movements, which premiered on PBS in 2009. As a doctoral student in history at Columbia, he is finishing his dissertation on the history the Nation of Islam’s Mosque No. 7 in Harlem, from 1954-1965.