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Political Islam

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Faiz Sheikh

on 20 November 2018

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Transcript of Political Islam

Political Islam
Theories and Concepts
Ice breakers?
Here's the plan:
1. Module introduction
2. Module administration
3. Defining our key term: Political Islam
Module Introduction
What do we know about Islam?
In pairs, come up with answers/estimates for the following:
1. What is the relationship between Islam, Christianity and Judaism?
2. What percentage of the world's population is Muslim?
3. What is a Caliph?
4. What is an Imam?
5. What is a Sultan?
The abolition of the Caliphate
1924, the Turkish Republic dismantles the Ottoman Caliphate
“To the question, ‘How should the umma be constructed now?’ little agreement emerged, with however, the significant exception: the spiritual unity of the umma required political expression”
Piscatori, James: "Imagining Pan-Islam: Religious Activism and Political Utopias", (Proceedings of the British Academy, Vol. 131, 2005), pg. 427
The (global) community of Muslim believers
Islam is the solution!
The solution to what?!
Essay (6th Jan 2015)
3000 words (70%)
Seminar participation and self-evaluation (9th Dec 2014)
500 words (15%)
Seminar presentation
Weekly reading; seminar participation
Module Administration
ILOs and Assessment criteria
What are the most important aspects of Qutb’s thinking in the modern age?
Presentation questions
The end of the Caliphate the beginnings of the nation-state
Jamal al-Din al-Afghani and the Islamic ‘renaissance’
In what ways does the decline and abolition of the Caliphate impact political Islam?
al-Afghani: Reform or Apology?
Do you view al-Afghani as a pioneer of Islamic revival, or a liberal apologist?
Hasan al-Banna and the legacy of the Muslim Brothers
How does al-Banna build upon or differ from the ideas of al-Afghani?
al-Banna and the bottom up state
What are the most important aspects of al-Banna’s thinking in the modern age?
Mawlana Maududi and a response to British Colonialism
What are Maududi’s claims about Islam and politics, and how do they differ from al-Banna’s?
Maududi and the top town state
What are the most important aspects of Maududi’s thinking in the modern age?
Ayatollah Khomeini and the Iranian revolution
How does Khomeini justify religious activism from the religious class?
Khomeini’s clerical rulers
What are the most important aspects of Khomeini’s thinking in the modern age?
Said Qutb and the near enemy
How does Qutb differ from the thinkers who came before him?
Said Qutb and rejection of ‘the West’
Key term: Political Islam
What are the key characteristics of Islam/political Islam? Do you make a distinction?
Consider these commonly held dichotomies:

An Islamic 'golden age'
The period of the Prophet Muhammed and the rashidun, rightly guided Caliphs, is considered a unique time by many
The Novelty of Political Islam
“although Islam is a religion of collective morals, it is not a particularly political religion”
Ayubi, Nazih: Political Islam: Religion and Politics in the Arab World, (London: Routledge, 1991), p. 120
“Muslim law books are full of moralising themes”
Rahman, Fazlur: Islam, (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1979), p.116
“if the first thirty years of Islam were excepted, the historical conduct of Muslim states could hardly be distinguished from that of other states in world history”
Khan, Qamaruddin: Political Concepts in the Qur'an, (Lahore: Islamic Book Foundation, 1982), p. 74
3 Broad approaches to 'Muslim' politics:
1. Muslims take political action based on their faith
2. Muslims reject political action based on their faith
3. Muslims recognise political action based on their faith is too much of a stretch, but do so anyway as it is an effective way to achieve their objectives
Din-wa-dawla? Religion and state.
Full transcript