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AS6032: Contemporary

Relations of Islam and Politics:


Deconstructing Islamism, Salafism
and Jihadism
Lecture 1: Wednesday, 01 March 2017

Introduction to Islam: Theory


and Practice
Dr Mohamed Bin Ali
• Assistant Professor at Studies in Inter-Religious Relations in Plural Societies (SRP)
Programme, RSIS, NTU (current position)
• Associate Research Fellow at the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism
Research (ICPVTR) at RSIS, NTU from 2004-2013.
• Research interests include Islamic Jurisprudence, Islamist ideology, religious extremism,
inter-religious relations and rehabilitation of Muslim extremists.
• BA in Islamic Jurisprudence from Al-Azhar University in Cairo, MSc in International
Relations at RSIS and PhD in Arab and Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter,
United Kingdom.
• Aljunied Islamic School in Singapore from 1990-1995.
• Specialist Diploma in Counseling Psychology from Academy of Certified Counselors,
Singapore in 2006
• Vice-Chairman and counsellor of the Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG)
• Member of Shariah Appeal Board of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS)
and member of Khadijah Mosque Management Board.
• Former member of Council for Asian Terrorism Research and former counselor at the
Singapore Prison Department.
• Research field trips in Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bangladesh, Indonesia
and the Philippines.
About this course
• New introduction in Asian Studies Programme (elective)

• Offered by Studies in Inter Religious Relations in Plural


Societies (SRP) Programme at RSIS

• SRP – Research, Teaching and Community Engagement

• Modules on religion and inter-religious studies

• Full MSc Programme in inter-religious studies


Why this course?
• Rise of Islamism, Salafism and Jihadism – some of the most
important developments of Islamic world in 20th century.

• Important to understand dynamic and challenges of modern


day Islamism

• Understanding terminologies

• A lot of misunderstanding and misperceptions of Islam today

• Understanding differences between Islam and political Islam

• Issue if religious extremism and violence.


Course Structure
• Part 1: Islam and Islamism
- Beliefs and Doctrines
- Islamic thought
- Political Islam

• Part 2: Salafism and Wahhabism


- History, development and politics
- Beliefs and doctrines
- Strands and Diversities

• Part 3: Jihad and Jihadism


- Jihad: Legal tradition and conduct of warfare
- Jihadism: History, development and ideologies
- Case studies: Countries and Individuals
Course Requirement:

• Attendance (13 weeks)


• Class participation / interaction (15%)
• Term Paper/Article Review - due week 7 (25%)
• Project/Presentation - due week 10 (10%)
• Written Exam (50%)
• Revision (week 12)
NTULearn
Learning Outcomes:
• Critically understand the nuances, dynamics and challenges of
Islamism, Salafism and Jihadism

• Familiarise with the main trends and inclinations of the different


modern Islamist groups and ideologies

• Analyse developments of Islamism and Salafism among the


relevant disciplines of Islamic studies, politics, sociology and
anthropology

• Evaluate and critique scholarly and other writings on these topics.


Are there any differences?

• Islam and Islamism

• Salaf and Salafism

• Jihad and Jihadism


Understanding terminologies?
• Islam, Islamism, Islamists, Muslims, Islamiyyah

• Salaf, Salafi, Salafism, Salafiyyah

• Wahhabis, Wahhabism, Wahhabiyyah

• Jihad, Jihadism, Mujahid, Mujahidin

• Other Islamic terms and concepts e.g. Shariah, Takfir, Daulah,


Islamiyah, Hijrah, Al-Wala’ wal Bara’, Ummah, Sunni, Shiie, and
many others
Knowing Individuals
About Islam (1)
• Beliefs, doctrines, philosophy, values

• Religion and a way/system of life

• Various thoughts – legal, theological, mystical, political

• Divine revelation: Quran, Sunnah/hadith, hadith Qudsi

• Tradition of scholars – Islamic intellectual heritage


About Islam (2)
• The 5 pillars of Islam

• The 6 articles of faith

• Abrahamic religion

• A way/system of life

• Values and morals


The Prophetic Tradition

Adam
Noah

Abraham

Moses

Jesus

Muhammad
OVER VIEW OF ISLAM

Way
of
Life

Rituals

Values

Beliefs
The Beliefs - The Six Articles of Faith

Belief in:

• The One God


• Angels
• Messengers of God
• Holy Books
• Day of Judgement
• The power of God to determine
one’s destiny
The Values

e.g Justice, Love, Compassion,


Mercy, Perseverance, Tolerance
Main Rituals - The Five Pillars

1. The Testimony of Faith


2. Solah / Prayer
3. Fasting
4. Zakat
5. Pilgrimage
The Way Of Life – Life Systems

e.g Family Systems, Social Systems,


Economic Systems, Political Systems,
Justice Systems, International Relations
PATH TO STUDY ISLAM

Way
of
Life

Rituals

Values

Beliefs
Various Colours of Islam

Muslim

Sunni Shiite

South, Central Imamiyah Iran/Iraq/


Hanafi
Asia, China Lebanon

Africa Maliki Zaydiyah Yemen

SEA Muslims/ Shafi’ii Ismailiyah Syria/Central


Yemen Asia

Saudi / Gulf Hanbali


School of theology

School of jurisprudence