Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Islamic Law & Political Violence

Islamic Law & Political Violence

WEDNESDAYS 3:00-6:00
MES  384 (40747)

Course Description:

This seminar examines theories and approaches to the study of political violence. It starts with a survey of the juristic discussions on legitimate and illegitimate violence. It shows how Muslim jurists, by the 11thcentury, had developed a sophisticated discourse on the proper limits on the conduct of warfare, political violence, and terrorism. This seminar then explores how these juristic discourses are no longer part of the normative categories of contemporary Muslim societies. The seminar shifts attention to the rise of Islamism and the failure of the nationalist projects of the post-colonial era in Muslim majority countries. It addresses specific case studies of Islamist political violence in local and global contexts. Some of the central questions that this seminar examines include: How does violence differ from other types of political action? What are the reasons for Islamist political violence? How do Muslim jurists theorize rebellion, revolution, and order?


Meet the Professor

Samy Ayoub specializes in Islamic law, modern Middle East law, and law and religion in contemporary Muslim societies. He focuses on issues concerning law, its interaction with religion, and the role of religion in contemporary legal and socio-political systems within a global comparative perspective. He has legal training in Egypt and in the United States, and in Islamic studies. He has taught in law schools, and in religion and Middle Eastern Studies departments. Dr. Ayoub is currently serving as the president of the Islamic Law Section at the Associaton of American Law Schools (AALS).


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