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 (Thurs – Saturday, Monday-Wednesday) 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. The first day, Wednesday January 8th, is mandatory and reserved for registration, sightseeing and ice-breaker activities with fellow participants and some lecturers. Sunday January 13th will serve as both a break from classes as well as a day for sight visits. Several 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. One to two panels are scheduled. One panel will be a public event with lecturers from the Summer School that is open to the larger Cape Town community. The other panel will consist of South African Muslim leaders engaged in activism. Topics that may be covered include – Critical Reform in the Mosque, Gender/Sexuality Diversity, HIV/AIDS work from a Muslim Perspective, decolonial student movement activism, and issues affecting the Black Muslim community in South Africa.
  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)

Muslim Cool – Race, Religion and Popular Culture (Su’ad Abdul Khabeer)

Towards a Decolonial Islamic Liberation Theology (Ashraf Kunnummal)

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)