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“There was a strategic decision by the GOP to make Islam a wedge issue, and Trump is the result of that multimillion-dollar effort to marginalize Islam and Muslims, and other minority communities.” So far, the school has produced nine graduates of its two-year master’s program, and Turk can rattle off each of their accomplishments like a proud father.
“So, no, no one’s really ready for it, but I think you find solidarity in the collective anxiety.
For years, US Muslims have been trying to build an all-American Islamic authority to bridge cultural gaps in immigrant Muslim communities and attract US-born worshippers who seek greater independence from conservative institutions in the Middle East and South Asia.
Some two dozen seminaries and other US-based Islamic training programs have sprung up in recent years, laboratories for a new generation of US-born clerics.
We’re mobilizing.” Jihad Turk, 45, knows firsthand the disconnect many young Muslims feel from their clergy.
He grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, at a time when there were no mosques nearby and religious instruction came largely from a Muslim summer camp and “one of the dads” teaching Arabic by rote in a basement.
Housed within the Claremont School of Theology, Bayan is part of a proliferation of US-based Islamic training centers in recent years, ranging from brick-and-mortar colleges with accreditation to less formal, online-only seminary courses.