Continuing political unrest in the Middle East, Palestinian-Israeli tensions, and the presence of Al-Qaeda and ISIS, have led some in the West to believe that something about the religion of Islam itself is the cause. Are these difficulties driven by religion, or is the truth more complex?
The Madison Committee on Foreign Relations will host two programs in December and January to explore this issue.
The first program on December 10 will explore the contemporary nature of Islam, including the role of contending sects of Islam (Sunni, Shia, Ismaili), cultural factors, and the relationship between Islam and governing concepts, to help us understand the structural and historic basis for prominent events in the news in the context of current hot spots in the Middle East.
(Description of January program to follow)
Together, the two programs will contribute some clarity to a complex and much-misunderstood aspect of the modern political situation.
Dr. Peter Mandaville is Professor of Government and Politics in the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. He is also a Nonresident Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution and Senior Research Fellow at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs. From 2015-16 he was a Senior Advisor in the Office of Religion and Global Affairs at the U.S. State Department. Previous government experience includes serving as a member of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Policy Planning Staff from 2011-12.
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