Muslim Identities in North America

Presentations by Meena Sharify-Funk and Nahid Khan

Date & Time:

Monday, September 26, 2016
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Monday, September 26, 2016, 7:00 PM


free and open to the public


Woulfe Alumni Hall North (378A), Anderson Student Center
University of St. Thomas, St. Paul Campus

Meena Sharify-Funk, Ph.D.

Meena Sharify-Funk, Ph.D.

In the 21st century there is a plethora of clichés, stereotypes, and over-generalizations about Muslims in North America, where there are also a variety of different ways of being Muslim. In this lecture, Dr. Sharify-Funk will explore the diversity of Muslims in North America today and the many contexts shaping their lives and identities. Nahid Khan will present data from her research on the portrayal of Islam and Muslims in North American media. This is the first in a two-part series on Muslim Identities co-sponsored with the Bernhard Christensen Center for Vocation at Augsburg College. The second, “Muslim Identities in Minnesota,” features Cawo Abdi and Nahid Khan, speaking at 7pm, Tuesday, October 4, in the Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center at Augsburg College. 

Meena Sharify-Funk, Ph.D., is an associate professor and the chair of the Religion and Culture Department at Wilfrid Laurier University who specializes in Islamic studies with a focus on contemporary Muslim thought and identity. Sharify-Funk has written and presented a number of articles and papers on Muslim hermeneutics, women and Islam, and the role of cultural and religious factors in peacemaking. Currently she is co-authoring two books: an introductory textbook on Sufism entitled, Unveiling Sufism: From Manhattan to Mecca and a manuscript on contemporary Sufism entitled, Contemporary Sufism: Piety, Politics, and Popular Culture.  Her first manuscript was Encountering the Transnational: Women, Islam, and the Politics of Interpretation (2008), which examines the impact of transnational networking on Muslim women’s identity, thought, and activism. She also has co-edited two books, Cultural Diversity and Islam (2003) and Contemporary Islam: Dynamic, Not Static (2006).

Nahid Khan, a special consultant to the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning, is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication with minors in religious studies and museum studies at the University of Minnesota. Active in community interfaith dialogue since the 1980s, with a particular focus on Muslim-Jewish dialogue, she was a Muslim delegate at the North American Interfaith Colloquium held at the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research in 1999 and 2000 and she served for eight years on the board of the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition, an interfaith advocacy group addressing social justice issues in Minnesota. She is also a trained guide for the Collection in Focus program at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and a board member of Mizna, an Arab-American cultural and arts organization based in the Twin Cities. 

Sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning in collaboration with the Bernhard Christensen Center for Vocation at Augsburg College, the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Center at the University of St. Thomas, and the Department of Communication and Journalism at the University of St. Thomas

To make an accessibility request, call Disability Resources at (651) 962-6315.