PSR Faculty in Conversation with Dr. Hatem Bazian
Recently, PSR Faculty and Field Education Mentors met with Dr Hatem Bazian, who is the Chairman of the Northern California Islamic Council and a professor at UC Berkeley and St. Mary's University. In their conversation, Dr. Bazian called for spiritual leaders to focus on what we agree on as we put ethics and the needs of human beings at the center of our work. Dr. Bazian also suggested that we focus on how the loss of homes, trauma among immigrants, and the poverty draft all serve as common ground for social transformation regardless of religious tradition. He said that he strongly believes that now is a time for a serious reexamination of assumptions, a time to reconstitute ourselves in light of the demographics of this place and time, and a time to take seriously the transnational religious experience.
Dr. Bazian shared with us the results of the NCIC Bay Area Muslim Study which researched the theological and ethnic national diversity among the 250,000 Bay Area Muslims. He encouraged spiritual leaders to assist in capacity building of Muslim immigrants by providing introductions to work places, feeding, advocating, engaging movements for human need.
Dr. Bazian is also the co-Founder of PSR's neighboring Zaytuna College, the first Islamic Liberal Arts College in the United States. When describing Zaytuna's plans, Dr. Bazian said that there is a strong focus on the use of technology to enhance classroom education. He also referred several Field Education Mentors to specific Islamic centers and leaders to encourage efforts to build relationships.