Northwestern University appoints first Muslim chaplain

    The university has appointed Tahera Ahmad as its first Muslim chaplain, after years of lobbying by Muslim students.

    Ahmad comes to Northwestern from the Islamic Foundation School in Villa Park, Ill. where she taught courses on the Quran, Arabic and Islamic studies.

    University Chaplain Timothy Stevens said Ahmad will work to improve the Northwestern community’s understanding of Islamic culture.

    “There’s a lot going on in the world and a lot of misunderstanding about Islam,” said Stevens. “I think the larger community has a lot to gain from having an articulate and knowledgeable person to help us understand and know how to respond better to the Muslim community.”

    For the last several years, Stevens’ office worked to raise enough money to bring another chaplain to Northwestern.

    “Some of the Muslim students here might say, ‘I’m just not sure what the Muslim teachings are about,’” Stevens said. “We now have someone they can go to right on campus and ask those questions.”

    More to come. Later this month, North by Northwestern will sit down with Tahera Ahmad for a Q&A.


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