4 credit hours
Focusing primarily, but not exclusively on al-Qaeda and the Taliban, this course will examine the historical development of Islamism as an ideological program and the use of jihad as form of socio-cultural mobilization in Muslim societies. Through a close reading of primary sources in translation, the course will analyze the transformation of Islamic concepts, such as Jihād, Da’wah, and Zakāt, by state and non-state actors in the attempt to promote global jihad. Using cases studies from Africa and the Greater Middle East, the course will consider how militant organizations in conjunction with foreign governments and religious movements seek to develop support for a global jihadist agenda among local Muslim populations. Each student will be required to conduct a seminar in the class based on a research project chosen in consultation with the instructor.