An institution by that name has opened its doors in Minneapolis, according to Hiraan Online, as discovered and posted on Ummah News Links.
So far, about 160 students have registered this spring for courses at $150 each. They will learn everything from the basics of Islam to the Quran to the Arabic language.
The campus, at 2534 Central Ave. N.E., is in the heart of a sprawling Muslim community, where shops with Arabic signs dot the neighborhood.
When I was growing up there in the 1950s, the neighborhood was known as "Nordeast" and hosted mostly Eastern European immigrants. It was set apart from the rest of the city by geography and by its ethnic mix, quite unlike the Scandinavian and Germanic nieghborhoods that predominated. In fact, I always found Central Ave. NE rather exotic, with its restaurants, bars, and social clubs quite unlike the other neighborhoods. I guess that I would find it even more exotic today.
There are some fairly positive signs in this institution:
An estimated 150,000 Muslims, mostly from Somalia, live in Minnesota. Donations from some of them made it possible to start the university, says Adnan Sameha, who helps with enrollment at IUM.
Somalis constitute more than 60 percent of the students. Women, who share a classroom with men, make up 35 percent of students, according to Sameha.
Dr. Samara'i is proud of the inclusion of women, a rarity in Islamic universities, "because that transcends the wrong impression about Islam," he said. "Our teaching is purely radical-averse."
Another unusual aspect is that all courses, except the recitation of Quran, are taught in Arabic with simultaneous English interpretation. That's because 15 percent of the students are American-born Muslims, who barely understand Arabic.
IUM is interested in obtaining accreditation and apparently intends to become a fairly normal four year degree-granting institution. Should it succeed and flourish, I look forward to picking the name of a mascot for their football team.