Encountering Islam

Conversation with Shaikha Tamara Gray

Date & Time:

Thursday, October 5, 2017
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
Thursday, October 5, 12:00 noon


free and open to the public


Iversen Hearth Room (room 340), Anderson Student Center
University of St. Thomas, St. Paul Campus
2115 Summit Ave., St. Paul, MN


refreshments and cookies provided; please bring your own lunch

Shaikha Tamara Gray

Shaikha Tamara Gray

This session is part two of an eight part series running through the 2017-2018 academic year titled Encountering Religious and Cultural Traditions: A Series Fostering Religious Literacy and Interreligious Understanding. In this session, Shaikha Tamara Gray will teach about the lived experience of Islam as well as address some common misconceptions and stereotypes people have of the tradition.

Renowned scholar of religion Wilfred Cantwell Smith argued that in order to “understand Buddhists, we must not look at something called Buddhism but at the world so far as possible through Buddhist eyes.” Likewise, in order to understand Judaism, Hinduism, and so on, we must not look at Judaism, Hinduism and so on, but at the worldviews of Jews, Hindus, and so on. In his New York Times Bestseller, Religious Literacy, Stephen Prothero writes “I am convinced that one needs to know something about the world’s religions in order to be truly educated,” and argues that “you need religious literacy in order to be an effective citizen.” This year-long series aims to foster religious literacy and interreligious understanding by examining the world through the eyes of religious scholars and practitioners from various traditions. They will share their own lived experiences of their traditions and also address common stereotypes and misconceptions. 

Shaikha Tamara Gray is an Islamic scholar, professional educator, and community activist. She holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum Theory and Instruction, multiple ijazas in Islamic sacred texts and subject matter, and is currently a doctoral student in leadership at the University of St. Thomas in MN. Her publications include several culturally appropriate English language curriculum programs, translations of sacred texts, academic articles, and the book  Joy Jots: Exercises for a Happy HeartShaikha Tamara is the founding director of Rabata, the parent non-profit organization for a number of projects including: Ribaat Academic Online Program, Daybreak Press publishing, Daybreak Bookshop, Leadership and Legacy Curriculum materials, etc.. She is part of the ISNA task force for more inclusive and welcoming mosques, on the advisory board of Muslim Women’s Association of Chicago, and the Muslim Anti-Racism Committee. She is a public speaker, often engaged to speak about issues of gender, Islam, and spirituality locally, nationally and globally. She has spoken at the World Parliament of Religions, the Bonyaan conference on the Muslim woman (Sweden), Islamischer Feminismus – Internationalalae Annaherungen (Islamic Feminism – International Approaches) in Berlin, the Islamic Society of North America, and a several universities including Princeton, Virginia Tech, and Oxford.

This session is sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning at the University of St. Thomas in collaboration with the Muslim Christian Dialogue Center and the Muslim Student Association at the University of St. Thomas

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

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