For this blog entry, Dr. Mike McQueen describes his upcoming class on Islam and Radical Fundamentalism:
“Islam is a religion of peace. All Islam needs is a reformation like the Church went through in the 16th century and its violent aberrations will disappear.” Have you ever heard this line of thought? I hear it frequently from venues ranging from news media outlets to politicians. But is it true?
“Muslims, Jews and Christians all worship the same God.” Within the last year, this assertion has also made headlines in both Christian and secular press. But is it true?
“Jihad is primarily a spiritual struggle, not physical violence.”
“One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.”
These are only a few of the many questions and issues we’ll seek to address in Islam and Radical Fundamentalism (MN740) in the Spring Semester. This class will seek to explain the key doctrines of orthodox and folk Islam, comparing and contrasting Islamic teaching with Christian beliefs. We will outline the historical development of Islam, and look at the theology of militant fundamentalism and its political impact. The rise of ISIS, the war in Syria, the role of Israel in the conflict will be addressed. The theology and practice of terror, the contradictions between Western liberalism and Middle Eastern jihadism will likewise be explored.
Perhaps most importantly we will seek to identify areas of Christian ministry to Muslims both locally and globally.
Assignments will include readings from the Qur’an, current news sources and blogs, interviews with Muslims and everyday people on the street.