Extra Credit: Political Islam

The first Arts and Sciences Lecture of the year

Date: Tuesday, February 17
Time: 3:30 to 4:30 pm
Place: 109 Grubbs Hall

Speaker: Stephen Harmon, Department of History

Title: “What is Political Islam?”

Abstract: My talk will give a definition of political Islam (also called Islamism) and attempt to describe its major tenets. I shall argue that political Islam, far from being the menacing monolith often invoked in superficial analyses, is broken into various strains and numerous individual groups and movements. I shall describe three major strains of political Islam, including Shi’a political Islam and two strains of Sunni political Islam, reformist and radical. I shall focus on the major Sunni groups and movements, both reformist and radical and attempt to assess the threat level posed by them to the US and to US interests.