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Political Islam across three Continents

The course deals with the story of the so-called Political Islam in the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea countries where the majority of the population consists of Muslims. The term Political Islam usually includes a wide range of political movements different from each other, but having in common a strong relation with the Islamic political tradition, that is, at times, but not always, accompanied by a vague desire for a return to some alleged forms of the “original” Islam of the Prophet’s time.

The analysis of the Islamic movements that have appeared in the region of the Eastern Mediterranean will include both the older, with their clearly anti-colonial character, and the most recent, that claim the ideal of an Islamic management of private life and political life in a modern society. In a wider perspective, in order to try a comparative study on the role of religion in the political life of the region, the course will also analyze the issues of Christian fundamentalism and religious nationalism, i.e. Zionism in Israel.

 

Learning outcomes

Upon completing the course the students will have gained:

  • acquire detailed knowledge of the history of these movements

  • be able to understand the role and the importance of these movements in the Eastern Mediterranean region

  • be able to interpret the nature, the ideology, the purposes and the practices of these movements

  • gain familiarity with the concepts of Islamic fundamentalism, Islamic reformism, Islamism, Political Islam, Islamic resistance, contemporary jihad, and others

  • study in depth many of the most important expressions of these movements, like the Muslim Brotherhood (also known as the Muslim Brothers), Hamas and Hizbullah.