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COVID 19's impact on Muslim communities and Muslim life

The coronavirus pandemic has affected major Muslim collective events such as Friday prayers, Ramadan observations, and Hajj.  In some regions, interreligious tensions are exacerbated by the health crisis and its economic and societal effects.  The panel will discuss some of the pandemic's impact on daily life, culture and politics, and the ways in which Muslim communities are responding to Covid-19.

Moderated by Professor Anna Bigelow (Stanford Religious Studies).

Abiya Ahmed is Associate Dean & Director of The Markaz Resource Center at Stanford University. She is a researcher-practitioner also completing her PhD in Education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. She has researched and written about religious pluralism and politics on campus, racial and religious minorities in higher education, American Islam and Muslims, and Islamophobia in higher education. Her doctoral dissertation explores how Muslim college students negotiate religion and religious identities at a secular campus amidst polarized politics and ambiguous authorities. Abiya has a BA in Mass Communication & Journalism from the American University of Sharjah (AUS), UAE, an MA in Islamic Studies from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and an MA in Religious Studies from Stanford University. 

Mucahit Bilici is Associate Professor of Sociology at John Jay College and CUNY Graduate Center. He is the author of Finding Mecca in America: How Islam Is Becoming an American Religion (University of Chicago Press, 2012). His research interests include American Islam, Muslim diasporas including Kurds in the US, Kurdish identity and Turkish society. Among his numerous Turkish publications is Hamal Kurt: Turk Islami ve Kurt Sorunu [Kurd the Porter: Turkish Islam and the Kurdish Question] (Istanbul: Avesta Publishers, 2017). Bilici is a faculty fellow at the CUNY Dispute Resolution Center and a frequent commentator and public speaker on Kurdish and Muslim issues in the contemporary Middle East.

Margari Hill is the co-founder and Executive Director of Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC), a human rights education organization and co-founding co-director of the Black Muslim COVID Coalition. She is also a freelance writer published in How We Fight White Supremacy (2018), Time, Huffington Post, and Al Jazeera English. She has six years full-time experience working in community organizations and over 15 years as an educator in various capacities including instructor, curriculum design, school policy, teacher training, and online learning, as well as graduate research assistant and teaching fellow in Middle Eastern, African, and Islamic history. She earned her bachelor’s degree in History from Santa Clara University in 2003 and a master’s in History of the Middle East and Islamic Africa from Stanford University in 2006.  Her research includes transformations in Islamic education, colonial surveillance in Northern Nigeria, anti-colonial resistance among West Africans in Sudan during the early 20th century, interethnic relations in Muslim communities, and the criminalization of Black Muslims. 

Shabana Mir is Associate Professor of Anthropology at American Islamic College, Chicago, international public speaker on Islam, gender, and education, and author of the award-winning book Muslim American Women on Campus: Undergraduate Social Life and Identity (University of North Carolina Press, 2014). Muslim American Women on Campus won the Outstanding Book Award (National Association for Ethnic Studies) and the Critics’ Choice Award (American Educational Studies Association. Shabana has worked in the United States, the U.K., and Pakistan).  She has published numerous articles and chapters, and is a long-standing blogger.