Petition Closed

Beginning in the fall semester of 2014, the University of Pittsburgh will not offer any courses dedicated solely to the study of Islamic thought or history. It is unacceptable that Islam, one of the worlds oldest and fastest growing monotheistic religions comprising 23% of the global population, is nonexistent in a world-class academic institution fostering research and scholarship. We request that the University of Pittsburgh offer Islam through a curriculum that represents global citizenship, diversity, and equity.

Letter to
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Dr. Patricia Beeson
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies Juan Manfredi
As it stands, four courses have been indefinitely canceled at the University of Pittsburgh. The courses are: the Anthropology of Islam, the Sociology of Islam, Introduction to Islamic Civilization, and the Ottoman Empire. This means that beginning in the 2014 fall semester there will not be a single course dedicated solely to the study of Islamic thought or history at the university. Islam, dating back to 622 AD, is one of the world’s three monotheistic religions and the second largest religion in the world having 1.6 billion followers. Based on these statistics alone it is unacceptable that the University of Pittsburgh, a world-class academic institution fostering research and scholarship, has such a large discrepancy in representing a substantial portion of the global population and portrait. Without courses dedicated solely to Islam, scholarship regarding 23% of the world’s population will cease to exist at this University. As a leader in international education, the University of Pittsburgh is expected to offer curriculum to prepare informed global citizens that demonstrate and are receptive to multiculturalism. By cancelling these courses the university is not upholding this promise to its students and professors. This petition requests that Islamic courses be offered in the history, anthropology, sociology, and religious studies departments by spring 2015 and two tenured track professors with Islamic history expertise be hired by fall 2015. The University of Pittsburgh community and its supporters request that the curriculum represent its belief in global citizenship, diversity, and equity.