Islamic Scholar Helps Draft Code of Honor, Mutual Respect Called for Among Sects

May 21, 2007


Source: Ann Arbor News

Sherman Jackson has little use for decorative wall art.

There isn't much need when nearly every inch of wall space in his corner office at the University of Michigan's Thayer Building is covered with volumes of religious texts, Islamic law, and commentaries on theology.

On the wall just inside the door frame hangs a document representing what some are calling a watershed moment in Muslim American history, a reference that draws a reflective and immediate smile from Jackson.

Jackson was among 20 Muslim activists, academics, and spiritual leaders from around the state to recently sign a code of honor. They have pledged to promote unity and mutual respect among the religion's different sects here while the bloody conflict between Sunni and Shiite Muslims continues to take its toll abroad.

"This is a wonderful achievement,'' said Jackson, a Philadelphia native who converted from Christianity to Islam in the late 1970s. He is now an Islamic scholar and professor of East Asian studies at U-M.