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Muslim Journeys to create cultural awareness

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The “Muslim Journeys Bookshelf” will be available in the library starting Feb. 11. Photo courtesy of http://www.colostate-pueblo.edu

Colorado State University-Pueblo will feature the “Muslim Journeys Bookshelf,” after receiving a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities/American Library Association.

The Library and Academic Resources Center will receive a collection of books, films and other resources to educate the American public about Islam and the cultural heritage of Islamic civilizations around the world through the grant.

The exhibit will be on display from Feb. 11 and will be available through May 6, at CSU-Pueblo’s library.

The intent of the display is to address both the need and the desire for reliable and accessible resources about Muslim beliefs and practices and the cultural heritage connected with Islamic civilizations.

The “Muslim Journeys Bookshelf” is not intended to be a comprehensive study of Islam as a religion or of the Muslim world in its complexity, but seeks to introduce readers to new and diverse perspectives of the people, places, histories, beliefs, practices and cultures of Muslims in the US.

“The grant award included 25 books and three films relating to Islamic heritage and culture. It also included a one-year subscription to the Oxford Islamic Studies Online database,” Beverly Allen, a member of the library committee who wrote the grant, said

“One of the university library’s goals is to promote cultural understanding and lifelong learning throughout the campus and the community,” Allen said.

The collection is organized around five themes including: American stories, connected histories, literary reflections, pathways of faith and points of view.

An essay written by Muslim Journeys national project scholars will accompany each theme.

Some of the books that will be included in the collection will include stories that will reveal transformations of faith and identity; as Muslims living in different places and in different times interpret Islamic traditions to fit their distinctive cultures.

The university library has tried to provide opportunities for learning on diverse topics and from multiple points of view, Allen said.

Libraries that have been selected to receive the grant will also have access to a Muslim Journeys website, which will offer more information and resources available to anyone interested in learning more about Islamic history and culture.

The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf grant is the fourth national grant for programming that CSU-Pueblo has been awarded. Last year the LARC had an exhibit based on African-Americans in baseball.

After the Muslim Journeys grant, the next exhibit featured in library will be on the topic of the American Civil War.

“As you can see, we try to provide programming on a wide variety of topics,” Allen said.

The Library will also present several public events to publicize the availability of the bookshelf in order to engage the community in meaningful discussion of Islam, and to celebrate its cultural heritage.

“The Muslim Journeys grant provides us with an opportunity to explore a topic that is both timely and relevant. We are happy to promote dialogue and advance understanding about this issue that has been, if anything, underrepresented in our past programming,” Allen said.