Islam and the West

The Taliban victory over Western forces in Afghanistan is the latest episode in the story of almost continual struggles between rival ideologies and rival empires which began after the death of Muhammad in 632 AD. We will see how, in less than 100 years, his followers created the largest empire the world had ever seen, and kept expanding, until stopped at the gates of Vienna in 1683. After being subjugated by Western colonialism, Islam began a revival with the formation of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1926, and continues to expand. The clash of cultures is significant in many countries, including Australia.

DELIVERY MODE

  • Face-to-Face

SUGGESTED READING

  • Six books with the title Islam and the West deal with the issues in various ways. Authors are Robert van de Weyer, Colin Chapman, Saikal Amin, Shahram Akbarzadeh, MA Raj and Shahram Akbarzadeh (this book considers some issues from an Australian perspective, as does Islam in Australia by Abdullah Saed). A good introduction to Islam is Islam by John Esposito.
  • Articles abound on the web. A sound academic paper cowritten by a western author and a Muslim author is Islam And The West: Narratives Of Conflict And Conflict Transformation, Nathan C. Funk and Abdul Aziz Said from the International Journal of Peace Studies, Volume 9, Number 1, Spring/Summer 2004

COURSE OUTLINE

  • The life of the Prophet and the conquest of Arabia. Varied understandings of jihad and sharia law.
  • Muslims v Muslims. Contending Muslim empires from 632 to 1923 AD. Current tensions, eg Saudi Arabia v. Iran.
  • Muslims v Christians, including the Crusades, colonial ‘oppression’ and ‘the war against terror’
  • Muslims v Jews, including the ‘Jewish betrayal’ in Mecca, ongoing tensions between Palestinians and Israelis.
  • The revival of Islam in the 20th C; the retreat from colonialism; the Muslim Brotherhood and its descendants, including Al Quaida, Islamic State, the Taliban etc
  • Cultures in conflict -- Sunni v. Shi’a, non-Muslims in majority-Muslim States, Muslims in the West.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Analyse the recurring military, cultural and economic conflicts between Islam and the West.
  2. Evaluate the role of international agencies and major world powers in these conflicts.
  3. Discuss some major differences between the teachings of the major sects and divisions of Islam, and the role of religion in their dealings with the West.
$198 Limited / $178

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01 Feb

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