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Jihad Turk is the founding President of Bayan Claremont Islamic Graduate School, the nation’s first Muslim graduate school to offer accredited Master’s degrees in the fields of Islamic Studies, Education, Chaplaincy and Leadership. Jihad previously served as the Imam/Director of Religious Affairs at the Islamic Center of Southern California, LA’s oldest and largest mosque. He is a sought after national speaker on issues related to Islam, Muslims in America, Muslim Reform Movements, Ethical Leadership, and Spiritual and Identity Formation of Youth. Additionally, Jihad has committed himself to build bridges across faith communities to collaboratively address issues of homelessness and poverty.
Having been born to a Muslim-Palestinian father and a Christian-American mother in Phoenix Arizona, Jihad spent his college years travelling the Muslim world and exploring his roots and the Islamic tradition. He spent time in both the Islamic University of Medina where he studied Arabic and Islamic Studies and in Iran where he studied Farsi at the University of Tehran and in Qum. He completed his undergraduate study at the University of California, Berkeley where he received his B.A. degree in History and Arabic. Jihad completed his Master’s degree at the University of Texas, Austin in Arabic and Islamic law and jurisprudence. In 1999, Jihad came to the University of California, Los Angeles to pursue his PhD in Islamic studies where he also taught as adjunct faculty for many years.