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This class explores the impact of political Islam on today's world. Students will study the development and beliefs of influential Islamic movements during the modern era, as well as the relationship between religion and politics within several contemporary Islamic societies. Readings include the works of modern Muslim writers from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. The class will consider the arguments of radical Islamists such as Sayyid Qutb or the Ayatollah Khomeini, as well as Muslim thinkers who represent a different, more liberal interpretation of Islam. Topics include: Islam and Democracy, Role of Women, Freedom of Thought, Holy War, and Islamic views on religious and political authority. The course will also discuss the controversial topic of whether Islam and the West are engaged in a violent clash of civilizations.