Recent global events, as well as the emergence of groups like the Islamic State (Syria and Iraq) and Boko Haram (Nigeria) continue to raise questions about the role of Islam in (state and non-state) conflicts around the world. In this course we will move beyond generalizations and simplistic headlines, and focus on the diversity of Islamic intellectual thought, religious practice, and social and political movements. Using case studies, students will analyze complex historical, political, and theological motivations and justifications for conflict. Drawing on examples mainly from the 19th and 20th centuries, this course will focus on Africa, the Middle East, Asia, as well as Europe and the United States. It will cover intellectual and ideological debates in various Muslim communities across time, the many expressions of Islam, and trace the roots of “political Islam.” Themes will range from conflict in the medieval and pre-modern world, to education reform in the Ottoman empire, from anti-colonial movements in India, Sudan and Libya, to contemporary issues related to the War on Terrorism. Students will gain familiarity with key theoretical and methodological concerns related to the study of Islam, as well as with topics, such as global capitalism, colonialism, modernity, secularism, and nationalism.
- Amir Syed
Number of Credits