Respect Graduate School

Inaugural Conference

“Islam in America: Civic and Religious Youth Identities”

October 21-22, 2017

Bethlehem, PA 18017

Respect Graduate School’s Inaugural Conference, Islam in America, examines the issues at the intersections of religious and civic identities among Muslim American youth. Hear fascinating and insightful papers by scholars, community organizers, activists, and members of clergy dealing with topics such as spiritual education, social transformation, white supremacy, youth chaplaincy, and culture & identity politics. With presentations spanning theory as well as practice, academic discourse, and community involvement, there will be something for everyone.

You also will not want to miss our keynote speaker, the highly esteemed, Dr. Ingrid Mattson whose work focuses on Qur’anic interpretation, Muslim ethics, environmental responsibility, women and family law, as well as interfaith activism. Dr. Mattson is a best selling author; she has served as Vice President and later President of the Islamic Society of North America, and she is credited with founding the first accredited program for Muslim Chaplains in the United States.

This conference will also feature delicious food, networking opportunities, an art exhibit by local artist Nik Nikolov, and a film screening of the critically acclaimed new documentary Dalya’s Other Country by Julia Meltzer, so don’t miss out!

Space is limited so Register Now!


Updated 10/16/17


Saturday October 21, 2017

9:00 – 10:00                        REGISTRATION AND BREAKFAST

10:00 – 10:30                     WELCOME ADDRESS

Suleyman Eris, President of Respect Graduate School

10:30 – 12:00                     KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Dr. Ingrid Mattson

Question and Answer to follow

12:30 – 1:30                        LUNCH

Lunch will be provided to all conference participants

1:30 – 2:00                          BREAK AND DHUHR PRAYER

2:00 – 3:15                          SESSION 1: Pedagogy and Praxis: Sharing Best Practices in Spiritual Education

Moderator: David Grafton

  1. Ozgur Koca, “Islamic Metaphysical Tradition and Muslim Youth’s Intellectual and Spiritual Formation”
  2. Nuray Yurt and Feyza Teke, “Increasing Social Responsibility of Muslim Youth Within the Larger Society”
  3. Bayyinah Muhsin, “Teaching Noble Character: An Exploration of the Correlation between Waldorf Education and the Pedagogical Methodologies of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.)”

3:30 – 4:45                          SESSION 2: Social Transformation

Moderator: Rubie Ghazali

  1. Erol Dincer, “Social Transformation Through Character Building”
  2. Relwan Onikoyi, “Between ‘Westoxification’ and Reactionary Apologetics: The Urgency of Historical Awareness and Reasonableness in Contemporary Islamic Debates on Tradition”
  3. Parvez Ahmed, “Lack of Women Empowerment Contradicts Qur’anic Vision”

4:45 – 5:15                          BREAK AND ASR PRAYER

5:15 – 6:15                          PUBLIC LECTURE AND ART EXHIBIT

Nik Nikolov, “Process Patterns”

Question and Answer to follow

6:15 – 6:45                          BREAK AND MAGHRIB PRAYER

6:45                                        DINNER


Sunday October 22, 2017

8:30 – 9:30                          REGISTRATION AND BREAKFAST

9:30 – 10:45                        SESSION 3: Separate but Equal?  American Islam through the Fulcrum of White Supremacy

Moderator: Giovanni Herran

  1. Mansa Bilal Mark King, “(Re)Suffusing Muslim Identity with Respect for the Youth in America: Exemplary Uses of an Africana Muslim Narrative”
  2. Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, “Muslims and Jews in America: A Look Backward and a Look Forward”
  3. Heba Qureini, “Demystifying Hijab”

11:00 – 12:15                     SESSION 4: Youth Leadership on Campus and in Community Mosques

Moderator: Patricia Anton

  1. Adeel Zeb, “Minority Faith on Campus: Jewish and Muslim Chaplaincies: Past Present and Future”
  2. Nuru Mohammed, “Youth Spaces of Interfaith Activity”
  3. Nisa Muhammad, “Empowering Black Muslim Students for Success: What Chaplains Can Do”

12:30 – 1:30                        LUNCH

1:30 – 2:00                          BREAK AND DHUHR PRAYER

2:00 – 3:15                          SESSION 5: Cultural Hybridity in an Identity Politics Paradigm?

Moderator: Zara Khan

  1. Liyakat Takim, “American Muslim Youth at the Crossroads”
  2. Aini Firdaus and Muhammad Rahman, “Muslim Nusantara in America: Nurturing Hybrid American Muslim Youth Identities”
  3. Shahid Rahman, “2016 Election: Responses of South Asian Muslim Millennials (18-25)”

3:30 – 5:00                          FILM SCREENING

Julia Meltzer’s documentary Dalya’s Other Country (2010)

Discussion to follow.

5:00 – 5:30                          BREAK AND ASR PRAYER

5:30 – 6:15                          CLOSING PLENARY

Zara Khan

Open Question and Answer session and final reflections


      • Advance Online Registration–$18
      • On-site Registration – $20

* Background image courtesy of Eric Broug.