The program is a lecture intensive including dialogical space for students to raise issues and process their thoughts with the instructors and with each other.


  1. Formal classes with discussions by the program’s faculty will be generally conducted for the 6 days (Mon – Sunday) from 9 am to 4 pm. Guided tours and/or panels will take place after that time on several days. The formal classes will consist of 1 – 1.5 hour lecture sessions, with an additional 30 minute question and answer session.
  2. Two trips are included in the program schedule (costs covered). One will be a walking tour of the historic Malay Muslim quarter called Bo Kaap. Another will be a tour of anti-apartheid struggle sites which were important for the Muslim communities in Cape Town.
  3. Two panels are also scheduled. One panel with South African Muslim leaders engaged in Critical Reform in the Mosque, Gender/Sexuality Diversity, HIV/AIDS work from a Muslim Perspective, and the issues affecting the Black Muslim community in South Africa. A second a panel/meeting with veteran anti-apartheid Muslim activists as well as current activists involved in the recent decolonial student movements (#RhodesMustFall, #FeesMustFall)
  4. There will be at least one scheduled time period where participants will be given an opportunity to share their work with others or, alternatively, have a focused discussion either among themselves or with lecturers on subjects that they feel need more exploration.
  5. There will be several optional informal sessions with faculty after classes on certain days, where available faculty will meet informally with participants for an open-ended discussion.
  6. Faculty will have designated office hours to meet with students individually on a first come basis.
  7. A month in advance, registered participants in the seminar will receive reading material for the seminar.
  8. Much learning takes place in conversations outside the formal program structure and will probably continue late into the night outside of the venue.
  9. Muslim prayer space is provided, and times for prayer will be included in the schedule of the program. For others with specific needs related to differently abled concerns (i.e. “disability”), religious, health or other reasons not mentioned – please email us with your individual inquiry after reading through the whole site (see contact section).


 A photo from the 1980s of Muslim activists at the Janazah (funeral) of a Muslim that was killed by the police during the anti-apartheid struggle.



Below are several, though not all, of the guiding questions we will be engaging throughout the week

  • How do we understand the place of Muslims and Islam in a world dominated by the current “capitalist/patriarchal modern/colonial Westernized/Christianized World-System”?
  • What are other systems that have existed prior to or concurrently with modernity/coloniality which we should also consider? (i.e. indigenous systems of race, caste, gender or political oppression such as anti-blackness, Brahmanism, patriarchy, imperialist state formations, sectarianism, etc.)
  • What are Muslim feminist critical responses to the problems produced by the multiple oppressions of the dominant world-system?
  • How can experience from other resistances of the Global South and Two-Thirds world enrich Muslim quests for justice and autonomy?

Selection of Courses


Introduction to Critical Muslim Studies (Salman Sayyid)

Introduction to Decolonial Studies (Ramon Grosfoguel)

The Qur’an, Liberation Theology and Decoloniality (Farid Esack)

Muslims in South Africa – Race, Gender, Sex (Gabeba Baderoon)

Islamic Feminisms and Gender Justice (Fatima Seedat, Sa’diyyah Shaikh)

Islam, Ibn Khaldun and Decolonizing Sociology (Syed Farid Alatas)

Islam in Africa and the Timbuktu Archives (Shahid Mathee)