The Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati is donating $1 million to create the Inayat and Ishrat Malik Professorship in Islamic Studies within the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Cincinnati. Funding came directly from Dr. Inayat Malik and Ishrat Malik.
The professorship marks a new era for UC by rounding out its complements of expertise in Abrahamic religions: the Judaic and Catholic studies chairs.
“This professorship will strengthen our relationships in the Muslim community, similar to how our Judaic and Catholic chairs are linked to their respective communities,” said UC president Neville G. Pinto. “It also will deepen our academic expertise in related fields, including history, philosophy and international relations.”
Dr. Malik came to Cincinnati in 1967 to specialize in urology at the UC Medical Center. He was on the clinical faculty of the UC College of Medicine more than 20 years and in private practice for most of his career. Dr. Malik was instrumental in creation of the Islamic Center, which now sits on an 18-acre campus in West Chester. He served as its first board chair for 18 years
UC has many partnerships in the community.
Shakila Ahmad, a 1982 graduate of UC, is the Islamic Center’s board president and a trustee of the University of Cincinnati Foundation.
“When we realized the need that existed at the university, we felt the Islamic Center had a responsibility to fill the education gaps in regard to Islam and understanding the Muslim-American community.” -Shakila Ahmad
Ahmad said. “The Muslim community has a strong link and commitment to the university and relies on it as an institution with a wealth of knowledge.”
Dr. Malik has lived in Cincinnati for 50 years and four of his five daughters are UC alumnae.
“I’ve spent most of my adult life and all of my professional life here. We’ve raised our children here. We love the city,” he said. “And the faith community has been very open to Muslims and very responsive to our outreach – whether it be the Catholic, Protestant or Jewish communities.”
Dr. Malik’s involvement in the local interfaith community includes co-founding the Bridges of Faith Trialogue, an ongoing conversation among civic leaders of the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths. He serves on several local and national boards.