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American Muslims Intent on Learning and Activism
Founded in 1992, American Muslims Intent on Learning and Activism (AMILA) is committed to spiritual enrichment, intellectual freedom, and community service.




Click on this link to join ZIA and participate in our book club
ZIA Book Club

Salam alaykum,

Thank you for visiting the ZIA Book Club webpage. ZIA is the Urdu word for 'light' (from the Arabic word 'Dhia'). In English, the letters ZIA combine the first letter of the two founding groups: ING and AMILA, which have joined forces to form this Club.

  1. To stay current on new books about Islam and Muslims.
  2. Provide a venue for enlightened and civil discussion among Muslim activists on contemporary issues concerning Islam
  3. Become a valuable resource for improving the effectiveness of Muslim outreach with the general public
The club will focus on contemporary books about Islam that are written by both Muslims and non-Muslims.

Types of Books on which the Club will focus: Contemporary, that are written by Muslims or non-Muslims about Islam.

Book Selection: Each month a new book will be decided by a 2/3 majority vote of members attending the meeting.

Meetings: 4 p.m. the first Sunday of every month, lasting 2-3 hours.

Meeting Locations: The first two meetings will be at Farhan Memon and Moina Noorıs Oakland home. Subsequent meetings will alternate between the East Bay and South Bay.

Membership: Membership is only open to Muslims (men and women). We felt that opening the club to non-Muslims who are unfamiliar with Islam would impede discussions and potentially shift arguments towards justifying Islam, rather than discussing the book subject matter. On some occasions non-Muslims may be invited.

Continued membership in the club will be based on fulfilling reading assignments and constructive participation. Club organizers reserve the right to ask you to leave the club or any club meetings if they feel you're not fulfilling membership requirements.

While we may have the participation of Muslim scholars in the club, organizers are committed to ensuring that participation is equal for everyone attending. In the past, We've invited Imam Zaid of Zaytuna to join us in the discussion of the Progressive Muslims book, which he's taken an interest in since the AMILA panel and was writing a critique about.

Third Book (November 2005):
Islam and the Blackamerican: The Third Resurrection by Sherman Jackson
Insh'Allah the next sesion will be in Daly City (join the book club list to get directions in a later e-mail). Due to Eid being on Nov. 3rd/4th weekend it looks like our session will be on the second Sunday, Nov. 13th at 4pm. We will be going through the next book by Dr. Jackson entitled "Islam and the Blackamerican: The Third Resurrection" in which he applies many observations from his previous books to a concrete social reality. It would be good to have a couple of people review some of the chapters at the beginning and prepare for questions / discussion for Dr. Jackson whom I will try and get over the phone (I will send him a note soon)."
Purchasing Information:
Ebay (~$24/includes shipping)

Amazon ($30/includes shipping)

Second Book:"We had a good time going through Dr. Jackson's first book , "On the Boundaries of Theological Tolerance in Islam" last week. FYI: Dr. Jackson, Dr. Muneer Fareed, and Dr. Ali Suleiman Ali will be going over themes from the book in a 4-day intensive in Orange County from Dec. 30 - Jan. 2. Go here for more details:

First Book: The organizing group decided unanimously to start with "Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism," edited by Omid Safi. The book contains 14 essays by different Muslim academicians. The book is divided into three parts: Part I: Progressive Muslims and Contemporary Islam; Part II: Progressive Muslims and Gender Justice; Part III: Progressive Muslims and Pluralism.

Due to the many perspectives in our first selection, Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism, the organizers have decided to take two months to read and discuss this selection. For the first meeting in April, we will discuss the introduction by Omid Safi and part one. Parts two and three will discussed at the May meeting.

First meeting: Sunday, April 3rd, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Farhan Memon and Moina Noor's home in Oakland. We will discuss the introduction by Omid Safi and Part one of Progressive Muslims, which includes authors Khalid Abulfadl, Farid Esack, Ahmet Karamustafa, Ebrahim Moosa, and Tazim Kassam.

ZIA Activities:

Based on member interest, potential future activities include:
  1. Inviting some of the scholars whose books we're reading to join the discussion and possibly speak in Bay Area venues such as university campuse.
  2. We may seek opportunities to volunteer our time as a club to events or organizations.
  3. Since ING has affiliates around the country, ZIA could expand to regional clubs, and hold a national event for ZIA book clubs members.
  4. We might consider holding a book fair, and writing book reviews for Amazon & AMILA websites.