Source: The Washington Post
On September 2, 1999, The Washington Post reported that the School of Islamic and Social Science located in Leesburg, Virginia, the only graduate school of its kind in the United States, held its first graduation of 14 students on Saturday, August 28th. The school's founder and president, Taha Jabir Alalwani, stated the purpose of the school's education: "The main message...is to build a bridge between Islam and the West...to understand the values of the founders of this beautiful country." The school emphasizes the historic and social context of the origins of Islamic notions of jurisprudence and seeks to explore the nature of Western values with Shari'a, Islamic law. The school has a contract with the Defense Department to provide the military with much needed military chaplains; seven of the new graduates will become chaplains for the armed forces. A new contract with the Justice Department will make some incoming students to next year's class chaplains for the U.S. prison system.