HDS 3628/CULTBLF 19 : Understanding Islam and Contemporary Muslim Societies

Instructor: Ali Asani

The course is an introduction to the fundamental concepts of Islam and the role that religious ideas and institutions play in Muslim communities around the world. Its main concern is to develop an understanding of the manner in which diverse notions of religious and political authority have influenced Muslim societies politically, socially and culturally. Through specific case studies of countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, the course considers the role played by ideologies such as jihad, colonialism, nationalism, secularism, and globalization in shaping the ways in which Muslims interpret and practice their faith today. The course briefly considers the contemporary situation of Muslim minorities in Europe and the United States. The course, through on-campus and on-line options, allows those enrolled to engage with students from all over the world. Note: Course has a weekly section to be arranged. Jointly offered as Culture and Belief 19.