Posted on April 21, 2016

The lecture “What is political Islam and what is happening in the Middle East?” delivered by noted Arab scholar Dr Tariq Ramadan (pictured) on April 20 drew over 50 students from Qatar University (QU), College of the North Atlantic Qatar (CNA-Q), Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, and Pantheon-Sorbonne University Paris 1.

Dr Ramadan, H.H. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani professorial chair in Contemporary Islamic Studies and professor of religious studies at Oxford University, presented his views and reflections to the audience that included QU president Dr Hassan Rashid Al Derham, Head of Strategy and Development Dr Darwish Al-Emadi, VP & Chief Academic Officer Dr Mazen Hasna, VP for Student Affairs Dr Khalid Al-Khanji, and College of Law (LAWC) professor and editor-in-chief of the International Review of Law Dr Talal Al-Emadi, faculty, and staff.

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Dr Ramadan detailed an overview on political Islam and the historical features of Islam and their evolution over the years in terms of ideology and pragmatism. He also highlighted the role of Islamic countries in clarifying the confusion between the terminology of Islamism and that of political Islam. “Political Islam did not fail”, he said, adding, “it is an actor, an agent and a reality in Islamic countries.”

He noted that on the political level, the confusion starts with the terminology and implies that Islamism is a kind of political and social plan for Muslims. He said: “In that classification, we find different categories -- legalist, traditionalist, revolutionary and literalist. Some are revolutionary but are non-violent, others are extremely violent.” Dr Ramadan also highlighted a number of issues such as the Arab Spring, the interpretation of Sharia in political Islam, the western approach to the evolution of Islamic ideology, and more.

In the ensuing Q&A students fielded questions on issues related to the Arab Spring, the future of political Islam, the civil state, among others.