Professor Salahuddin Malik Retires after 50 Years with Brockport History

After a half-century of dedicated service to Brockport History students and colleagues, Dr. Salah Malik is retiring this month. A celebration of this milestone had been planned for April 30 and has been postponed until the fall, when we hope it will be possible to gather in person to celebrate his career and wish him well.

A B.A. and M.A. alumnus of the University of the Panjab in Lahore, Dr. Malik came to the Department in 1970 having already gained experience teaching in his native Pakistan, in Canada where he did his Ph.D. at McGill University in Montreal, and in the U.S. at Rosemont College and the Rochester Institute of Technology. His fascination with Muslim responses to British colonial rule in India resulted in the publication of many journal articles and book chapters, presentation of his research at the Sorbonne, Oxford, the King Faisal Center for Research in Islamic Studies, and other renowned institutions, and his crowning achievement, his 2008 book 1857: War of Independence or Clash of Civilizations? British Public Reactions published by Oxford. He also lent his scholarly expertise to improving how history textbooks used in the U.S. explore Islam and the Muslim world, took Brockport students to Pakistan in the 1970s, and chaired several scholarly conferences at Brockport.

In his own world history, Middle East Crisis, Islam, and South Asia courses Dr. Malik opened students’ eyes to histories they might have only touched on in high school, enriched his lecture material with personal stories like his boyhood experiences of the partition of India and Pakistan, and held high the banners of intercultural understanding and international peace. One student, Erika Curtis, who graduated in December 2019, said that she had “Dr. Malik for the best class I ever took at Brockport. I learned more about the world and about religion, history and just general life lessons in my first semester at Brockport in that class than I ever have and maybe ever will.”

Dr. Malik has been a generous donor intellectually and financially to Brockport through the Salahuddin and Sarwat Malik Lecture Series: Building Bridges through Dialogue as well as the Malik Scholarship as well as in the community, nation, and world. He also was a founding member of the Rochester Interfaith alliance, which brings together Muslims, Jews, and Christians, was founding president of the Islamic Center of Rochester in 1975, and has long contributed his expertise on South Asian and Islamic world geopolitics to local and regional media. He was the first American scholar to travel to China after President Nixon normalized relations. He has also served in leadership positions with several national-level Muslim-American and Pakistani-American organizations and with the New York Association of Asian Studies. Dr. Malik has published some of his pioneering research on the history of Rochester and Monroe County’s Islamic community, and future scholars will benefit from the archiving of his papers at the University of Rochester. A loving husband to his remarkable wife Dr. Sarwat Malik, a physician and women’s rights advocate who passed too soon in 2013, he remains a proud father to Nadia and Sumaiya, who we hope can join us for our fall celebration of his 50 years with Brockport History.

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

al-Salāmu ‘alaykum wa-raḥmatullāhi wa-barakātuhu

May the peace and blessings of God be upon you all

With Sir Arnold Toynbee.
At Rosemont College, Philadelphia. His first teaching position in the U.S.
Grading blue books and parenting, 1967.
With Brockport students.
Guest lecturer of the US embassy in Pakistan, where he spoke to students about Islam and America.
Speaking at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Always a teacher. He invited his driver to join him in the museum and supplemented the interactive displays with a history lesson of his own.
With Fareed Zakaria.
Visiting his grandfather’s lands in British India after 71 years. The Mughal Emperor Akbar ascended to the throne in 1556 while hunting in Kalanaur. The makeshift platform where he is seated neighbors his grandfather’s lands and is where Akbar’s coronation took place. As a child, Salah played on the platform.
Crossing back into Pakistan from India on foot.
Spring 2019.
A proud Muslim-American, April 25, 2020.

2 Replies to “Professor Salahuddin Malik Retires after 50 Years with Brockport History”

  1. I am so proud of Dr. Malik. I was fortunate to have him for 3 courses during my undergraduate career at Brockport. A wonderful teacher and human being. Thank you for your dedication to your students and the teaching of history. Enjoy your retirement and thank you for your mentor ship. Best always

  2. It seems like yesterday, but it’s now over 30 years. Thank you for your dignity, perseverance, and patience! You have succeeded in casting a very long shadow over many decades and across so many vital conversations. But you also brought the light of knowledge to show us options for our pathway. Peace and glad tidings from an eternally grateful student.

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