AMST 2500 Certificate in American Muslim Life: Law & Society

Drawing from the scholarship published by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, this online course equips adult learners to apply solution-seeking research in cultivating their understanding of the legal and political challenges faced by American Muslims. Many of these challenges arise as a result of the current geopolitical climate and widespread misinformation and misunderstanding. Anti-Muslim sentiment and targeted policies that infringe on personal and religious freedom are the new normal. This course is designed to apply ISPU’s public policy research to examine the structural barriers that hinder the American Muslim community from full inclusion and participation. The sources and exercises provide students with an accurate understanding of American Muslim communities, equipping them to build and sustain allyship and identifying common challenges and solutions.

What will we learn?

Certificate Students: The certificate program issued by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding is divided into five courses.

▸ In ISPU 2501 Muslim Religious Liberty in Early America, we will examine the origins of Muslims in Early America and the legal history of religious liberty in the United States.

▸ In ISPU 2502 Who Are American Muslims?, we will examine the contemporary demographics of American Muslims, their values and views.

▸ In ISPU 2503 How are Muslims Represented?, we will examine studies that document the systematic discrimination faced by American Muslims in the news media, multiple branches of government, and in public schools.

▸ In ISPU 2504 How are American Muslims Treated?, we will explore the various ways American Muslims have been resilient in the face of adversity by examining their social contributions to American society and civic engagement.

▸ In ISPU 2505 Resilient Communities: Pathways Forward, we will reflect on ways Muslims recover from set-backs by cultivating rich internal lives while performing acts of generosity, service, solidarity, and belonging.

Students Seeking Academic Credit: After completing the graded assignments in the previous five courses, students will enroll in ISPU 2506 Capstone Project. Students will design and implement a community-based project, applying what they have learned from the course collection. Speak to your advisor about which accredited colleges and universities will offer you credit for completing the ISPU 2500-level course collection.

How will we learn together? is a social learning community. Adult learners apply the WISE CAP method developed by 1791 Delegates. Students begin by Watching compelling videos, Interacting with retention games, Studying scholarly sources, and Engaging their fellow students and community. Those enrolled for college credit earn their CAP by Composing essays, Amending their written work based on faculty feedback, and verbally Presenting their insights to their classmates and community. The WISE CAP and Capstone exercises use the gamification of online learning to enhance the intellectual and professional development of adults of all ages.


Dalia Mogahed MA

Director of Research
Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

Meira Neggaz MALD

Executive Director
Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

Dr. Nathan C. Walker

President, 1791 Delegates

Dr. Amir Hussain

Professor of Theological Studies
Loyola Marymount University

Dr. Rebecca A. Karam

Dean's Research Associate, Michigan State University
Muslims for American Progress Project, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

Precious Rasheeda Muhammad MTS

Independent Scholar
The History Detective,

Brittany R. King MA

Delegate, 1791 Delegates
Learning Management System Administrator, ZERO TO THREE

Civic Education for a Common Good

We apply the U.S. Department of Education’s Consensus Statements about Constitutional Approaches for Teaching about Religion

▸ Our approach to religion is academic, not devotional;
▸ We strive for student awareness of religions, but do not press for student acceptance of any religion;
▸ We sponsor the study about religion, not the practice of religion;
▸ We expose students to a diversity of religious views, but may not impose any particular view;
▸ We educate about all religions, we do not promote or denigrate any religion;
▸ We inform students about religious beliefs and practices, it does not seek to conform students to any particular belief or practice.

We apply the American Academy of Religion’s “Religious Literacy Guidelines”

▸ “Religious Literacy Guidelines for College Students.” American Academy of Religion, 2019.
▸ “Teaching About Religion: AAR Guidelines for K-12 Public Schools.” American Academy of Religion, April 2010.

We apply the National Council for the Social Studies C3 Frameworks for Religious Studies

College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards, “Religious Studies Companion Document for the C3 Framework.” Silver Spring, MD: National Council for the Social Studies, 2017.