can't see the images? view this message online.

Center for Policy Studies
Public Affairs Discussion Group

Cleveland's Muslim Community: History and Challenges

Ramez Islambouli - Lecturer of Arabic and Islam; Adjunct Professor of Islamic Law; and Vice President, Uqbah Mosque Foundation
Friday November 3, 2017
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Dampeer Room
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

Cleveland’s first mosque was established in 1937 by Al Hajj Imam Wali Akram, an African American. That should remind us that generalizations about "Islam in America" based on current political controversies are highly likely to confuse images with realities.

Most adult Muslims in the U.S. are immigrants, but they may come from very different countries; and they range from refugees fleeing for their lives to physicians recruited for their skills. Yet there are commonalities as well, especially the challenges of living within a minority religious tradition that is distrusted by many Americans; for all immigrants the challenge of adapting old ways (religious or not) to a new country; how to build good lives for their children – some of whom become students at CWRU; and sometimes dealing with the politics and administration of the "war on terror."

Many studies focus on variables that might be relevant to that "war": public opinion among Muslims (how much support for extremists?) or trends in Islamic institutions (how much do Saudi fundamentalists influence religious education and practice? Is an "American Islam" developing?) or markers of assimilation (though into what?) Yet it may be too easy to lose sight of real people and communities. So we welcome Ramez Islambouli to share his perspectives on Muslim life and challenges in the Cleveland community in which he has lived since coming to CWRU as a student in 1985. What are the concerns, the divisions, the trends, the future?

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guest

Ramez Islambouli a native of Lebanon moved to the United States in 1985 to pursue his academic studies. He holds an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering and a graduate degree in bioethics, both from Case Western Reserve University. He is an adjunct professor of Islamic law at the school of law at Case, a part-time lecturer of Islam in the Department of Religious Studies and a full-time lecturer and section head of Arabic language in the Department of Modern Languages and Literature and is the faculty advisor for the Muslim Students Association (MSA).

He serves as Vice President of the Uqbah Mosque Foundation (the mosque on Stokes Boulevard) and as a Muslim chaplain for University Hospitals of Cleveland, and also teaches Islamic Studies at Cleveland State and John Carroll universities

Where We Meet

The Friday Public Affairs Lunch convenes each Friday when classes are in session, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Our programs are open to all and no registration is required. We usually meet in the Dampeer Room of Kelvin Smith Library.

* Kelvin Smith Library requires all entrants to show identification when entering the building, unless they have a university i.d. that they can magnetically scan. We are sorry if that seems like a hassle, but it has been Library policy for a while in response to security concerns. Please do not complain to the library staff at the entrance, who are just doing their jobs.

The Dampeer Room is on the second floor of the library. If you get off the elevators, turn right, pass the first bank of tables, and turn right again. Occasionally we need to use a different room; that will always be announced in the weekly e-mails.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. You can get from the Severance garage to the library without going outside. Near the entry gates - just to the right if you were driving out - there is a door into a corridor. Walk down the corridor and there will be another door. Beyond that door you'll find the entrance to an elevator which goes up to an entrance right inside the doors to Kelvin Smith Library.

Schedule of Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

November 10: Lead Poisoning in Cleveland: Why, After All These Years? With Dorr Dearborn MD, Ph.D., Mary Ann Swetland Professor Emeritus and Department Chair Emeritus, Department of Environmental Health Sciences.

November 17: Digging Into Football and Voting With Data. With Andrew Healy Ph.D., Professor of Economics, Loyola Marymount University and Senior Strategist for Player Personnel, Cleveland Browns.

November 24: Thanksgiving Break

December 1: TBA

December 8: Environmental Policy in the Pruitt EPA. With Catherine J. LaCroix J.D., Adjunct Professor of Law.

October 30, 2017

If you would like to reply, submit items for inclusion, or not receive this weekly e-mail please send a notice to:

Upcoming Events

Defending the Constitution in the Age of Trump

The Institute for Global Security Law and Policy Lecture, with Ben Wizner, J.D., Director, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project , Monday, November 6, 2017, 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., CWRU School of Law, Moot Courtroom (A59), 11075 East Blvd., Cleveland, Ohio 44106.

On the morning after the 2016 election, the ACLU took out a full-page advertisement in the New York Times with a simple message for the President-elect: “We’ll see you in court.” Whether warning or prediction, it was in fact something of an understatement; the ACLU has challenged Trump administration policies on multiple fronts. Ben Wizner will discuss the state of civil liberties in the age of Trump and whether our existing institutions can withstand the challenge of a norm-breaking presidency.

Ben Wizner is the director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. For nearly 15 years, he has worked at the intersection of civil liberties and national security, litigating numerous cases involving airport security policies, government watch lists, surveillance practices, targeted killing, and torture. He appears regularly in the global media, has testified before Congress, and is an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law. Since July of 2013, he has been the principal legal advisor to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Ben is a graduate of Harvard College and New York University School of Law and was a law clerk to the Hon. Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

November 2017






































Visit the Public Affairs Discussion Group Web Site.

Center for Policy Studies | Mather House 111 | 11201 Euclid Avenue | Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7109 | 
Phone: 216.368.6730 | Part of the: College of Arts and Sciences
© 2017 Case Western Reserve University | Cleveland, Ohio 44106 | 216.368.2000 | legal notice