Monday, August 10, 2020

What is Zaytuna College trying to hide?

Zaytuna College is a Sunni Muslim institution in Berkeley, California. It is accredited for a degree program in Islamic Law and Theology, which appears to be the only major student can choose.

As an Islamic college, some of its rules seem strange to Western eyes. Horseback riding and archery are requirements. Students cannot date each other or anyone else on or off campus. Young men and women are not allowed to study together one on one, and anyone who witnesses that must report the violation. Drinking and gambling are prohibited. Baseball caps or clothing with corporate logos are forbidden. Students may not go to bears or casinos even off campus. Student’s mothers cannot visit the men’s dorms and their fathers cannot visit the women’s dorms. Teacher’s judgments may not be questioned.

I have no problem with their draconian rules for students – it is a private college and can make up whatever rules it wants.

But this policy rankles:

Media and Public Relations Policy

All Zaytuna College communications with representatives of the media should be coordinated and approved by the Director of Publications. With rare exceptions, the College prohibits media representatives from interviewing, photographing, or filming on campus.

If they are proud of their school, why don’t they allow the media to check out the campus?

Keep in mind that one of the co-founders of the school is Hatem Bazian, who has engaged in antisemitism for quite a while now, as Canary Mission and others document, including retweeting this:



He once led a protest at UC Berkeley and said, “Look at the Jewish names on the school buildings…Take a look at the type of names on the buildings around campus — Haas, Zellerbach — and decide who controls this university."

Perhaps reporters who visit the campus would find lots of examples of antisemitism that its cofounder pushes to students. Perhaps this is one reason why Zaytuna College wants to tightly control its public image.


(h/t Irene)