He has a given name he uses as an American college professor: Sherman A. Jackson.
He also has a Muslim name: Abdul al-Hakim.
As a self-described “Blackamerican” convert to Islam, he hopes his two names will be one of the topics of discussion at the April 19 symposium on “What it Means to be Muslim in America.”
“I think it is relevant to the topic, and I think the audience may learn something of value from such a discussion,” Dr. Sherman Jackson said.
Islam in America is complicated by the diversity of the Muslim community here, which includes homegrown converts, Jackson argues.
“American-born converts (the majority of whom are African-Americans) are a product of American history, as are their hopes, fears, fantasies and proper ambition,” Jackson has written.
“They are both repelled by the American experience, by virtue of their history as a marginalized minority, and attracted to it, by the virtue of their connection to a uniquely rich Afro-American historical and cultural tradition. Their search for a boa fide Muslim identity is still in its exploratory stage.”
“On Faith” panelist Jackson, a specialist in Islamic law and theology, is professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies and visiting professor of Law at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
Jackson, who grew up in Philadelphia, received a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Oriental Studies in 1990. He has written many scholarly articles and books including: Islam And The Blackamerican: Looking Toward the Third Resurrection.. He is co-founder of the American Learning Institute for Muslims (ALIM) and a former member of the Fiqh Council of North America.
By David Waters |
April 11, 2007; 1:57 PM ET
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