Youshaa Patel

Management consultant gone rogue, Youshaa Patel is assistant professor of Religious Studies at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. Youshaa’s research field crosses the intersection of Islam, Ethics, and Public Life, with special interests in inter-religious cooperation and conflict, and Islamic scripture and law. His research has been supported by grants from Mellon, Fulbright-Hays, and the American Institute of Yemeni Studies. He draws upon sustained cultural engagement with the Middle East and South Asia, including research stays in Qatar, Yemen, India, Jordan, and Syria. Youshaa earned his Ph.D. and M. Phil. from Duke University through the Graduate Program in Religious Studies, and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. In his spare time, Youshaa plays tennis and continues to search for the best pizza in the country.

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Today, Islam is paired with violence so often that these two concepts have become virtually synonymous. Conversations are often wedged between criticisms that Muslims are doing too much violence or not doing enough to stop it. Jihad, the Islamic keyword that has become equated with a distinctively Muslim kind of ...

These days, Islam is no stranger to controversy. Although we may deplore the mainstream media’s deliberate sensationalization of Muslim conflicts, as professors we can also exploit conflict in the classroom to help our students achieve their learning objectives. Many of my colleagues in other departments use debates as a ...

Every translation is an interpretation. This statement is especially true with regard to the Quran, since, according to Muslims, a translation of the Quran is not the actual Quran - just one interpretation among many. The Arabic Quran contains the actual words of God. Selecting an English translation of the ...

My primary objective as a professor is to nurture my students’ ability to think critically. Given the rising tide of Islamophobia and the increasingly acerbic rhetoric targeting Muslims in national political discourses, however, I consider developing their empathy and compassion an additional imperative. In my courses, I have increasingly turned ...

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