When Trinity College students return to their snow-bitten campus next week, for the first time they will discover a Muslim chaplain working there.
Sohaib Nazeer Sultan is one of only a handful of Muslim chaplains at colleges and universities across the country.
But as the number of Muslim college students continues to grow - along with the desire to understand religious and cultural complexities at play in a post-9/11 world - more schools are hiring Muslim chaplains.
'The Calling' is a groundbreaking PBS documentary series and community engagement campaign that follows the stories of Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim Americans who are training for religious leadership. It takes viewers into the unknown world of seminaries to reveal the real people "behind the robes."
by Dr. Sherman Abd al-Hakim Jackson
The passing of Imam W.D. Mohammed, may God have mercy upon him and grant him Paradise, has brought the Blackamerican Muslim community face to face with a reality that it has been more comfortable with ignoring than coming to terms with. Imam Mohammed's death has signaled the end of the era of charismatic leadership in which the rank and file can look to a single leader to settle all major questions and chart the Community's course for the future. Rather than being decided by a single voice, that future will have to be negotiated by the collective understandings and perspectives of the Community's learned. This implies, of course, general agreement on who is learned and what the rules of engagement are. If the criterion is set too high, it will marginalize valuable voices and confirm an already widespread distrust of religious knowledge and those who claim to represent it. If it is set too low, it will open the Community to the ravages and abuses of those who think that the role of religion is to sanction their and or the dominant culture's every undisciplined whim and passion.