Seeing the cancellation of Islamic subjects as playing into the hands of stereotyping, a Muslim students group in the University of Pittsburg has launched a campaign to bring back the classes that offer students better insights about Islam .
“The Offer Islam Campaign requests that the University of Pittsburgh offer Islam in a curriculum that represents global citizenship, diversity and equity,” the Muslim Student Association wrote in a petition that was cited by The Pett News on Tuesday, May 5 .
“This petition requests that Islamic courses be offered in the history, anthropology, sociology and religious studies departments by spring 2015 [and that] two tenured track professors with Islamic history expertise be hired by fall of 2015 .”
The problem erupted last March after Pitt University announced the cancellation of four Islamic courses for the upcoming fall semester .
The cancelled courses include, the Anthropology of Islam, the Sociology of Islam, Intro to Islamic Civilization and the History of the Ottoman Empire .
Announcing the decision, University Vice Chancellor said that the cancelled Islamic classes are categorized as special topic courses that are not “regularly offered each semester ”.
“From a broader point of view the University of Pittsburgh offers approximately 30 courses next fall (fall 2014) that focus on the Middle East region, an example of how the University of Pittsburgh is a leader in how Global Studies are incorporated into our curriculum,” University Vice Chancellor of Communication Ken Service wrote in an email last month .
Alternative classes include Christian Muslim Relations, Islamic Art and Islam Politics and Britain from the history, art history and urban studies departments .
The alternative classes were not welcomed by MSA students who called for bringing back the original courses .
“]The available classes] don’t fulfill what we are asking for by any means. They are supplemental,” Laila Al-Soulaiman, a member of the MSA and a freshman majoring in political science, said .
Moreover, MSA students launched the “Offer Islam” campaign which led an online petition that has got more than 753 signatures until earlier this week .
Another paper version of the petition has gained more than 250 signatures until Monday, May 5 .
Please write: COMMENT in this box to verify that you are human