Teaching Religion and Violence in Courses on Islam
This chapter examines the issues of violence in the study of Islam and is structured on the Introduction to Islam course that is taught at most universities that have courses in religious studies or theology. The issues raised, however, are applicable to a wider range of courses on Islam. The chapter deals with the important issues of peace and violence that need to be addressed with respect to (a) the biography of Muhammad, (b) the Qur’an, (c) the spread and historical development of Islam, (d) the contemporary Muslim world, and (e) the self-understandings of Muslims. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the shift from the rise of Islamophobia in North America post-9/11, to what is termed misoislamia, a neologism that captures the move from a fear (phobia) to a hatred (miso) for Islam and Muslims.
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