SEST-702 History of Al-Qa’ida and ISIS
Spring for 2016-2017
Habeck, M
Although most Americans believe that the “War on Terror” began September 11, 2001, al-Qa’ida, ISIS, and their allies have a radically different perspective. For these groups, which adhere to an ideology known as jihadi-salafism, the war began centuries ago and will conclude only with the end of the world. Al-Qa’ida, ISIS, and their affiliates also disagree with most Western observers on the scope, objectives, and aim of the conflict, arguing that this is an existential war designed to destroy Islam and the Muslim community.

This course will examine the on-going war with al-Qa’ida and ISIS from the perspective of the jihadi-salafis, and al-Qa’ida/ISIS in particular, as well as from the perspective of the United States. Beginning with the ideological foundations of jihadi-salafism, this course will dissect and analyze multiple views about the origins of the war, its course, and its consequences. The class will also look at the strategies and tactics used by both sides on many fronts and end by asking if this is a war that can be won by either side.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

Course syllabi
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Spring '17: Habeck M (file download)
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