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POLSC321: Mideast Politics

Unit 4: Islam   As is the case with any religion, there are many different variants and factions of Islam.  In this unit, you will identify the origin of Islam and become familiar with the main tenets of the religion.  Most importantly, you will differentiate among various interpretations of Islam and the various ways in which Muslims relate to the Koran and the main tenets of Islam. 

Unit 4 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 3.5 hours to complete.

☐    Introduction: 0.25 hours

☐    Subunit 4.1: 0.25 hours

☐    Subunit 4.2: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 4.3: 2.25 hours

☐    Subunit 4.4: 0.25 hour

Unit4 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Identify the origins of Islam. - Summarize the main tenets of early Islam. - Discuss the treatment of minorities in Muslim societies across socio-historical contexts. - Identify the different meanings of jihad in Islam. - Identify the historical origin of the split between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims. - Identify the status of women in the Koran, and differentiate between that status and the status of women in a pre-Islamic context.

  • Reading: Foreign Policy Watch: Matt Eckel and Jeb Koogler’s “Religions Do Not Speak” Link: Foreign Policy Watch: Matt Eckel and Jeb Koogler’s “Religions Do Not Speak” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire text.  This reading makes a useful point about the impossibility of fixing the meaning of any religious tradition.
     
    You should spend approximately 15 minutes on this resource.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.1 The Origins of Islam   - Web Media: Free Documentaries: Omar AL-Qattan, Michael Schwarz, Kikim Media’s “Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet” Link: Free Documentaries: Omar AL-Qattan, Michael Schwarz, Kikim Media’s “Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet” (YouTube)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and watch the preview for a basic introduction to Muhammad and the ways in which politics has influenced his legacy.
 
Viewing this preview should take less than 15 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.2 The Spread of Islam   - Reading: History World’s “Islam from the Beginning to 1300” Link: History World’s “Islam from the Beginning to 1300” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire webpage for a review of the founding moments in Islam.
 
Reading and note-taking should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.3 Tenets of Islam   - Reading: Canada Free Press: Kelly O’Connell’s “Non-Believers under Muslim Law” Link: Canada Free Press: Kelly O’Connell’s “Non-Believers under Muslim Law” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read this article, which addresses the question of Islam’s traditional approaches to non-believers.
 
Studying this reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Mark Clyde’s “Islam: A Primer” Link: Mark Clyde’s “Islam: A Primer” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and then scroll down and click on the article’s title to download the PDF.  Read the entire text (6 pages).  Focus on key tenets of Islam, such as i. Duties of Muslims, ii. Dhimmis, iii. Five Pillars of Faith, iv. Different Meanings of Jihad, v. Shari’ah, vi. Ijtihad, vii. Ulama, and viii. Sufism.
     
    Reading, note-taking, and studying the key tenets of Islam should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Middle Tennessee State University: Muslim Student Association’s “The Status of Women in Islam” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

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4.4 The Problem of Succession   - Lecture: iTunes: Dr. Graham Leonard’s “Middle East Problems Origins: Part 1” Link: iTunes: Dr. Graham Leonard’s “Middle East Problems Origins: Part 1” (iTunes)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and select “View in iTunes” for “Middle East Problems Origins: Part 1.”  Please view this entire lecture.  Consider the historical origins of contemporary conflicts between Sunni and Shia Muslims.
 
Viewing this brief lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use on the
webpage displayed above.