Fall 2013 International Lecture Series addresses Political Islam




The Arab Spring energized political Islam in the Arab world, especially in Tunisia, Libya, and, most dramatically, in Egypt.  Political Islam involves parties and organizations that pursue a political and social agenda in accordance with their interpretation of their faith.  It has exploited the overthrow of autocratic, secular leaders to become openly and freely involved in national politics.   Islamic politics run the ideological gamut from moderation and liberalism to radicalism and cultural conservatism, generally advocated by Salafi groups.  A key concern for the United States is whether Islamic parties will succeed in dominating the democratic process and marginalizing the liberal secular segments of the population which triggered the Arab Spring revolutions in the first place.  Another challenge centers on the increasing military role of radical “jihadists” in Syria and growing terrorism in Africa, particularly Nigeria, Mali, and Somalia.  In developing relationships with newly emerging governments, American policy makers will have to pay close attention to the potential challenges posed by political Islam.

The fall lecture series invites experts in these current and evolving issues to share their insights and predictions for the future of political Islam.

The three lectures of the series are:

Saturday, August 24, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Beyond Al-Qa’ida: Different Faces of Political Islam and Why It Matters To Us. with Dr. Emile Nakhleh, Consultant and former CIA Senior Officer.

Saturday, September 14, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Islamist Politics in Afghanistan and Pakistan: How Will It Function After US Withdrawal? with Dr. Ali Riaz, Illinois State University

Saturday, November 2, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Sunnis and Shi’is: Has the Arab Spring Deepened the Divide?  with Dr. Richard Norton, Boston University

Location for all three lectures: Santa Fe Woman’s Club, 1616 Old Pecos Trail

You may purchase separate event tickets for $15 or $36 for the series of three lectures (CIR Member) and $20 per event for Non-members and Guests using Paypal by clicking on the title of the postings or by calling the office at 982-4931.