Nation's First Muslim College Opens Next Week So far, things have been relatively quiet By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Aug 19, 2010 2:33 PM CDT 51 comments Comments A 2009 file photo Imam Zaid Shakir, a Muslim scholar and co-founder of Zaytuna College. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) (Newser) – So far, so quiet. The nation's first Muslim college opens next week in Berkeley, and Reza Aslan in the Daily Beast is worried it will give the West Coast its very own lightning rod for anti-Islamic fervor. But the founders of Zaytuna College say they've gotten relatively little flak, even with the timing of a 'certain proposed development in lower Manhattan. It probably helps that one of them, Hamza Yusuf, is "America’s best known and most highly respected Muslim cleric," writes Aslan. His goal isn't to divide. The "ultimate purpose of the college is to become the bulwark for a wholly new construction of Islam, one firmly rooted in traditional Islamic teachings, yet uniquely and unapologetically American."