Understanding Islam: A Muslim Woman's Perspective on the Essence of Islam

Hayat Imam

Tuesdays, March 20 - April 24 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. 6 sessions
The Engineering Center, One Walnut Street

By some accounts, over 60 percent of US citizens say they have never met a Muslim or know much about the religion of Islam. Under such circumstances, misunderstandings and stereotypes find room to grow and develop. Yet, in this increasingly connected globe, it’s clear that our hope for survival lies in fostering understanding and empathy. 

In this course, an American Muslim, who has lived and worked in many Muslim countries, will share facts and figures about Islam along with her experience as a practicing Muslim, immigrant, and peace activist. The goal of this course is to shed light and build bridges through exposure to knowledge about Islam and Muslims, and to address some of the misconceptions that get in the way of making deeper connections. This course will offer information that may feel challenging, and share glimpses of what Muslims experience, feel, and believe. But, in this process, we may end up being surprised, and delighted, to find that people we thought of as very different are more akin to us than we realized!  

The course will cover the following topics: 

I. Islamic Culture and the Diversity of the Muslim World

II.  What’s at the Heart of Islam

III.  The Early History of Islam and Its Contributions to Civilization 

IV.  The Relationship between the West and Islamic Societies and a Look at Muslims in the U.S.A.

V.  The Impact of U.S. Militarism on Muslim Countries

VI.  Visualizing a Way Forward for a United States That Is Peaceful, Accepting, and Supportive of All Its Citizens.

Each session will include a presentation, interspersed with time for questions  and answers. A few guest lecturers will be invited to enhance certain topics.

Teaching Style: Lecture with discussion     Weekly Preparation: None-1 hour


    Hayat Imam

    Hayat Imam is an American-Muslim of Bangladeshi origin. She is a feminist-activist committed to building global social justice movements. Former Executive Director of the Boston Women’s Fund and Board Chair of Grassroots International, she is an active member of Mass Peace Action and Dorchester People for Peace. Hayat was a keynote speaker at the Boston Women’s March in January 2017.