Motives of U.S. Muslim College Founders Questioned

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The recent opening of a new Islamic university in Berkeley, Calif. has been met with some skepticism by critics.

The founders of Zaytuna College said they hope the school will become America's first fully accredited Muslim academic institution.

But some critics, like Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, have questioned their motives.  Gaffney has accused the school of seeking to spread Sharia law in America.

"This is stealth jihad in the sense that it is about promoting in the United States incubators for Sharia," Gaffney said. 

"Shariah is a political program that the authorities of Islam have long believed, a millennium or so, must be imposed over the entire world, to be ruled by a theocracy, a caliph and to impose Shariah as the rules," he told Fox News.

Zaytuna's founders dismissed the charges, saying the schools mission is to "prepare morally committed human beings that can go out and make a difference in the world as Muslims."

So far the college, which has five faculty members and 15 students, only offers two majors -- Arabic language, and Islamic law and theology. Some of the courses offered by the school include Islamic Finance and Muslims in America.

Co-founder Zaid Shakir, an Air Force veteran and California native, said "I think Zaytuna College over time can help contribute to a healthier understanding of Islam by removing ignorance."

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