Dr. Kambiz Ghaneabassiri

Dr. Kambiz GhaneaBassiri is professor of religion and humanities at Reed College. He became a Pluralism Project affiliate in 2004 when he began engaging Reed College students in the process of research for the Portland Muslim History Project.

About the Portland Muslim History Project

The Portland Muslim History Project narrated the history of Muslim built communities in Portland, Oregon, aiming to describe in detail how the Islamic tradition was rooted within the built environment of a local American context. The assumption underlying the project is that both IslamIslam in Arabic literally means “submitting” or “submission.” One who submits or surrenders his or her will to God is called a Muslim. While the whole of God’s creation is described as being inherently Muslim, human beings must choose whether to... and the concept of religion in America are dynamic phenomena; they are best understood, not as essential categories or idea systems, but as beliefs and practices that are shaped in relation to the changing historical contexts in which they are lived. As such, the project was more concerned with praxis than thought. It aimed to explore how Muslims have built an actual American Muslim community rather than to study their ideal conceptions of such a community. The project was also more concerned with communal rather than individual practice. It sought to discover the resources and strategies used by Muslims to participate in American public life rather than explain how American Muslims practice their faith in private.

Selected Links and Publications