In the wake of 9/11, Professor Ebrahim Moosa was overcome with frustration at the acts of violence being committed in the name of Islam. A devout Muslim himself, he had also been the target of a terrorist attack for speaking out against extremists.
One issue, he realized, was that the curriculum being taught in madrasas, traditional schools of Islam, hadn’t been updated for centuries. It failed to engage with modern science, history, politics, and new research in religion. He thought he could teach some of these subjects to madrasa graduates to illustrate how Islam and modern life could peacefully coexist based on his own experiences.