The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) is internationally recognized as a leader in the study of Islam and Muslim-Christian relations and to promote understanding and relations between Muslim and Christian communities globally. The Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding: History and International Affairs, was founded in 1993 at Georgetown University in the Walsh School of Foreign Service with the support for many years of Hasib Sabbagh and the Foundation for Christian-Muslim Understanding in Geneva. The Center was renamed in 2005 and supported by following a generous endowment from Alwaleed Philanthropies that has guaranteed the permanent existence of the Center and has enabled us to significantly expand our activities.
The Alwaleed Center’s mission is twofold: to build bridges of mutual understanding between the Muslim world and the West and to enhance understanding of Muslims in the West. ACMCU’s activities are designed to address stereotypes of Islam, warnings of a clash of civilizations and document Islamophobia globally, as well as engage questions regarding the compatibility of Islam and modern life: from democratization, pluralism, to the status of women, minorities, and human rights. We achieve our mission through a combination of rigorous scholarship and frequent publications (books, articles, use of the internet and blogging), a wide-ranging academic curriculum that contributes to the training of the next generation, conferences and seminars held at Georgetown and internationally, and public outreach and training of teachers.
ACMCU faculty have taught courses in The Study of Islam and Muslim-Christian Relations, Islam & the West, Religion and International Affairs, Religion & Violence; Gender, Culture and Islam, Shariah and its Discontents, The Islamic World, Islam and Democracy, Makers of Contemporary Islam, Islam & Politics. The Future of Islam, Democracy and Global Terrorism, Intercivilizational Dialogue in Southeast Asia, Islamic political and social movements. They have published hundreds of books and articles translated and published in more than 55 languages as well as Editor-in Chief of Oxford University Press’ encyclopedias on the Islamic world and Islamic Law and other reference works. Faculty have also spoken at venues around the world and served as consultants to government leaders, diplomats, policymakers, corporate executives, and members of the media.
The Center has organized more than a thousand conferences, panels, and workshops and hosted fellows and researchers from Australia, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, China, Japan, Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iran, Turkey, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Romania, Spain, Sweden, England, France, and Germany. Center faculty have served as president of the American Academy of Religion, Middle East Studies Association and serve on the boards of international organizations and scholarly journals.
ACMCU faculty have been elected and served as presidents of the Middle East Studies Association and the American Academy of Religion and Have been among the leaders in international initiatives including the World Economic Forum’s Council of 100 Leaders the UN Alliance of Civilizations, and The Common Word project between major Muslim and Christian religious leaders