GOVT-586 Islam and Peacebuilding
Spring for 2013-2014
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There is a comfortable acceptance of maligning the tradition of Islam as the sole source for global conflict and transnational terrorism. The Western view of Islam is rooted in centuries of mistrust, ignorance, and stereotypical attitudes that contribute to inherited biases of the pre-modern clash of civilizations. Moderate and conservative western religious scholars still argue that Islam is a fierce and fanatical faith that demands of its followers blind obedience to a system of belief rooted in hatred. In the same light, fundamentalist Muslim theologians assert vitriolic conspiracy theories of western hegemony to undermine the religion of Islam. These attitudes are no longer viable in a globalized world where there is immense interdependence shared between the West and Islam, moreover, the very real presence of millions of law-abiding Western Muslim citizens have blurred the lines of these two categories.
This course explores the concept of peace, peacebuilding, and conflict management within the Islamic tradition. There are several practical and theoretical peace paradigms that are used in Muslim communities to work towards peaceful relations. We will examine traditional, reformist, modern, progressive, orthodox, and mystical interpretations to understand the divergent views of Islamic peacebuilding. This course will examine theoretical frameworks and specific case studies to address issues in the field of peace and conflict resolution and the multi dimensional aspects of the relationship between reconciliation and justice in a post conflict context. We will compare specific processes of conflict management used by Muslim religious and non-religious leaders in order to analyze commonalities and differences in peacebuilding efforts. (IR)
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