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Lecture 3

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Political Science

Lecture 3 notes POLC97H3 Prof. Masri January 24 2013 - Professor is late again, nothing new, 11:10 he shows up, likely to prepare - He is sick, won’t be able to speak loud for a long time - The first slide says, “class hours 11-11” LOL - Guidelines for the first essay have been posted, due in 2 weeks, on blackboard and by email - Questions and problems should be addressed during office hours - Some “friends” require notes Last week: - We talked and discussed the idea of Muslim culture - Most things that are called culture, are not so - If we want to determine what it actually is, we have a problem as many belong to different sects, commonalities are few, Muslim culture cannot be treated as one, must be indeterminate - We also discussed the idea of modernity, and we discussed some of the transformations that happen in the west, where Muslim population makes up the majorities, the advent of capitalism – where it challenges current forces and puts forth new ones - Capitalism says to bring freedoms, social transformation, change forces that had authority, more freedom to the individual - Most people treat culture as a static, should be viewed as an interaction amongst factors, like history, religion, and socio-economic processes - As a result, in many cases there are differences between how Muslims are perceived, like in Tunisia vs. Indonesia, differences because of factors (above) Muslim Culture: - How do we deal with the fact that some things are inherently Muslim? o Sexual morality? - Islam shares a lot with both Judeo-Christian faiths - Religious authority still claims to hold power, beliefs, and ideals, that stigmatize unruly sexual behavior - The idea that controlling or regulating behavior is not only limited to Islam (duh) - Abortion o In many countries, ex. South America, abortion is a criminal act o Influenced by religious beliefs, advocated by the church - Precedence over religious truths over scientific fact o In USA, controversy over teaching the theory of evolution, Darwin’s theory, in schools o Religious forces try to promote the idea of “intelligent design” o Similar arguments in places with a Muslim/Islam majority - Religious wars o Centuries of war and conflict o Rival religions, ethnic tensions o A threat to the west, violence based on Islam o Not really just a Muslim thing, many notable examples in Europe o Huge numbers of deaths and casualties Islam and Identity politics - Many groups are currently in this situation, have increased in the past years o Globalization - Vices attributed to the others (mainly the west), not really limited to one culture, present in places that still have Muslim influences - Local values are seen as ideal, but are not actually that Islamic - Sharia Law? o Principles that embody Islamic virtues o religious scholars playe
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