Courses starts: 28 Sep 2020
Week 1: A snapshot of the life of the Prophet Muhammad as understood by Muslims today
Week 2: The Battle of Siffin to the passion of Kerbela: the Sunni-Shia divide.
Week 3: The Ottoman Empire and the Millet system which protected minorities such as Jews, Christians, Druzes, Alawites and Yazidis
Week 4: The cultural and intellectual explosion caused by Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt and the opening to the West and liberal thinking by proteges of Muhammad Ali who filled the vacuum of the departing French
Week 5: The Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia and the Shia of Iraq
Week 6: Khomeini and his velayat-e faqih (The Custodianship of the Jurisconsult, essentially, Islamic dictatorship) challenge the Western-style democracy once favoured by Prime Minister Muhammad Mossadegh. Have the liberals failed to challenge Iran's hardliners? Is President Trump's US to blame?
Week 7: When the army aborts the democratic process in Algeria in 1990-92 the West remains hypocritically silent and a black decade develops. What next for Algeria?
Week 8: What is the impact of US policy on the Arab-Israel conflict after Trump and Jared Kushner's controversial peace plan
Week 9: Will Islamic State return to Syria and Iraq and what future for The Kurds? We will study the role of Erdogan's Turkey
Week 10: Class debate on lectures 1-9