Source: Chicago Tribune
On June 1, 2004 the Chicago Tribune reported, "Concerned over the ignorance among Americans about the Islamic world in a time of rising tensions, Aminah McCloud is helping DePaul launch a groundbreaking Islamic studies department. Arabic-language courses have boomed in universities since Sept. 11, 2001, and many universities now offer courses in Islamic studies as part of Middle East or other liberal arts departments. But experts say DePaul is the first in the United States to carve out a separate faculty for a program allowing undergraduates to earn a degree. Beginning in September, students can enroll in a range of courses, from Islamic civilization to history and culture. The Islamic World Studies program will aim to teach the distinctions among Islamic countries and sects, and familiarize students with the Muslim community at home. The program is unique because of its broad scope and its emphasis on Islam as a religion rather than merely as a modern political phenomenon, experts said."