Overview of 10 part course on understanding political islam
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Overview of 10 part course on Understanding Political Islam. Goals of the Course.

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Overview of 10 part course on understanding political islam l.jpg

Overview of 10 part course on Understanding Political Islam


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Goals of the Course

  • This course will explore the historical development of statecraft in Muslim societies and how text, interpretation and real-politick have influenced the course of that development. We will review a brief history of the Islamic State first before delving into the birth and development of Islamic Law. The decline of the practice of Islamic Law will be explored next; this will be followed by studying the rise of political Islam as a consequence. Finally, current experiments with constitutional reform will be investigated in their Sunni and Shi’a manifestations.

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Components of the Course

  • ISLAM 701 A Brief History of the Islamic State

  • ISLAM 702 The Birth of Islamic Law

  • ISLAM 703 The Decline of Islamic Law

  • ISLAM 704 The Rise of Islamism

  • ISLAM 705 Sunni vs Shia experience with Constitutional Reform

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ISLAM 701 A Brief History of the Islamic State

  • Is the Islamic State Dead

  • What is the Islamic State

  • When did the Islamic State Fail

  • The Rise of the Islamic State

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ISLAM 702 The Birth of Islamic Law

  • Governance bodies in the traditional Islamic State

  • How did the Jurist Class arise

  • The Birth of the Islamic Legal System

  • The Scholars and the Caliphs

  • The Scholars vs. the Caliphs

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ISLAM 703 The Decline of Islamic Law

  • Decline of Islamic Law is tied to the decline of the Ottoman Empire

  • Loss of Greece and the defeat of the Ottoman Navy by British, French and Russian ships at the Battle of Navarino in 1827 and the loss of Algeria to French invasion in 1830

  • Abdelmajid I took power in 1839; elites had become convinced that the empire needed internal reform

  • Ottoman elites, some educated in the West, correlated the emerging Western successes in part to the effective and improved internal administration

  • Western bureaucracy with its sharply defined and hierarchical responsibilities and precise record keeping had become an envied component of Western governance

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ISLAM 704 The Rise of Islamism

  • The Classical Islamic State declined and the Scholars who were the balancing component never put up an appropriate resistance

  • The Executive branch became all powerful in the post-Ottoman Islamic State

  • The unified Ottoman Empire broke up into 22 separate countries with varying structures political structures

  • The call to restore the Islamic State has been led in the Sunni world by Islamic socio-political organizations. In the Shia world, it has been led by scholars

  • Western scholarship and now increasingly Muslim scholarship has called this phenomenon Islamism or Political Islam

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ISLAM 705 Sunni vs Shia experience with Constitutional reform

  • Sunni Islamism calls for the Shariah and its justice to be dominant without conferring authority over the law on the scholars who were its traditional keepers.

  • Who are then the keepers of law?

  • Sunni Islamists literature has not been able to answer the question about where the authority rests to interpret God’s law. This was the domain of the scholars

  • In addition, popular sovereignty has resulted in Islamists coming to power and hence they have gradually adopted democracy as a platform of reform and as a tool to gain power

  • But the question of the authority of interpretation still needs articulation

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