West African Muslims and their Contributions to the U.S. Culture
On Tuesday October 12th, Montgomery College and Howard University hosted three WARA scholars, Prof. Erin Augis of Ramapo College, Dr. Fallou Ngom of Boston University, and Dr. Ousseina Alidou of Rutgers University, for a symposium entitled West African Muslims and their Contributions to U.S. Culture.
Prof. Augis discussed her research on Senegalese Muslim women who choose to enter polygamist marriages both here and in Senegal. Dr. Alidou showed how Islam is promoting women’s literacy and giving women a reason to learn how to read, when secular society and Christian missionaries have essentially ignored this need. Finally, Dr. Ngom talked about the role of Ajami, the use of the Arabic alphabet to write indigenous African languages, explaining that Ajami was not used exclusively for religious purposes, but for write everyday matters, and how Ajami dispels the myth that all African knowledge is oral.
Many students, faculty, and community members attended the events and engaged in a lively discussion about West African Muslims and their various contributions to African American culture.