Islam and International RelationsIt has been a long time that IR's scholars avoid including Islam as an important phenomena in global politics. But now, it's likely that we, as an IR's student,...

Islam and International Relations

It has been a long time that IR's scholars avoid including Islam as an important phenomena in global politics.

But now, it's likely that we, as an IR's student, need to learn more about Islam in it's relations with global politics.

What do you think abou the relevantion between Islam and Global Politics?

Asked on by raditzky

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brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Islam is a religion with 1.5 billion adherents, so with almost 1/4 of the world's population, it's impossible to say Islam wouldn't affect international relations, just as we cannot argue that Buddhism or Christianity affect it as well.  But we need to be careful at drawing conclusions with a broad brush, as Islam is a varied and complicated religion just as Christianity is in the US.  If you mean radical Islam, that is something else entirely.

justaguide's profile pic

justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

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In global politics, the role of Islam seems to be growing larger every day. Nations that would not have been considered Islamic states till now have turned into the same. Take Pakistan for example, large areas of Pakistan are now under the rule of forces similar to the Al Qaeda. And as this nation has a lot to do with how the US can deal with Afghanistan, the role of Islam here becomes very relevant.

Example like the one I just gave seem to be propping up everywhere.

No IR student today can think of dealing with global issues without an adequate ( to say the least) understanding of Islam.

ask996's profile pic

ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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WOW. Tying the relevance of or the ignoring of Islam to 2001 seems misinformed at best. As accessteacher has indicated, IR programs should most definitely address Islam as it is one of the most inaccurately perceived system of beliefs in the United States and possibly the world.

That being said, the news talked about Texas schools implementing a new language program in which all students are taught Arabic because of its relevance to future world issues.

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I have to agree with #5, especially in Western societies where we just hear stereotyped and inaccurate information about Islamic beliefs. However, I do also think that Islam and its relation to other societies and the Western world is going to be one of the defining issues in our future. How we work out our relationship is going to have a massive impact on the world future.

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I would say the main responsibility is to try to understand Islam, and to spread the word accurately.  There are a lot of inaccuracies about Islam, and you are bound to run into them as an IR scholar.  The issue is to ensure that you don't rely on or give into stereotypes and prejudice.

catd1115's profile pic

catd1115 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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I think Islam is absolutely an important issue in global politics. All you have to do is look at the situation in Egypt and the sudden uprising of the Brotherhood of Islam there. We can look at politics in a vacuum and say that a state is a state and a religion is a religion, but that is unrealistic. Too many states in Middle East (and other areas) are Islamic states or as close as can be, and truthfully at any time we may see the creation of more Islamic states in areas where is the state is unstable and Islam is strong. We have to be realistic about the number of Muslims in the world who want to live in an Islamic state. people who do not desire separation of church and state.

larrygates's profile pic

larrygates | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Islam has been an important element in global politics long before 2001. Over one billion people in the world consider themselves Islamists. The Palestinian question, which far  outdates 2001, by its very essence involves Islam. Many Islamic countries are borderline Theocracies; the capital of Pakistan is in fact Islamabad. The problem, I think, is that there is a tendency by some to consider it as a variant religion. One may choose to ignore Islam as a factor in Global politics or consider it irrelevant; but to do so is to bury one's head in the ideological sands. There is presumption; then there is reality. Those who consider Islam irrelevant are themselves borderline irrelevant.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I don't think that most IR scholars have been ignoring Islam, especially not since 2001.  However, if IR scholars do ignore it (or if they don't pay enough attention), it is likely because their theoretical perspective tells them something like Islam is not relevant.

Realists would, of course, argue that Islam is not relevant.  All that matters is the power and security of the state and Islam does not really affect that.

However, I would think that both idealists and constructivists would say that Islam is very relevant.  Idealists, for exaple, would wonder, for example, if Islam is compatible with democracy since democracy is seen as the path to world peace.  They might wonder if Islam makes it less likely that a state would engage with other states in bodies like the UN.  So idealists would say that Islam is relevant.

amnassef's profile pic

amnassef | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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Themes in the practice or phenomena of international relations and Islam:

- Revisiting integration studies of Muslim migrants in Europe and their present political climates in shaping EU’s foreign policy.
- How Islamic symbols like veils and minarets affect the political life in Europe and the United States in their creation of domestic policies affecting the issue on Muslim’s minority rights
- Depiction of Prophet Muhammad in printed literature and films in the West, and the reactions of Muslims worldwide
- The victory of Islamists parties in post-Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt, and their foreign policies toward the West (specifically the US, EU, and Israel)
- Iran’s velayat-e faqih and the nuclear issue
- Efficient or not: Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Arab League, and the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC)
- The Muslim youth and the social media (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) in the Arab Spring process.
- The relations of Israel and the Muslim world
- Turkey’s AKP positions in Middle Eastern issues, e.g. Syria’s ongoing civil war, Iran’s nuclear energy or Palestinian question
- Updates on the US War-On-Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq
- Pakistan-US relations after Osama’s capture
- The rise of Wahhabi and Salafi’s movements in Southeast Asia and how it will affect ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)

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amnassef | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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It hopes to examine two inquiries:

1. How International Relations scholars perceived the field of Islam since the Interwar period (1919-39) until now?
2. How Islamic scholars (Muslims or non-Muslims) perceived the field of IR since the Interwar period until now?

Themes within the disciplines of IR and Islamic Studies:

- Towards the Idea of an Islamic IR theory?
- Islamic episteme and methodology: (In)Applicable to IR
- IR and Islamic Interpretations on the principal element of nation-state
- Probable fifth IR’s Great Debate: An Islamic (religious and cultural) challenge to the mainstream IR paradigms and theories?
- Examination of current positions, status, and progress of scholars, practitioners, and students engaged in the research of both IR and Islamic Studies.

amnassef's profile pic

amnassef | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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For a very long time, the Muslim world was regarded as an outsider from the cultural and normative pretext and state relations of the West. Even during the reign of the Ottoman Empire, scholars of International Relations (IR) excluded her as a subordinated stealth ally or non-ally of major European powers.

The shift from Bush to Obama in their foreign policies toward the Muslim world, Imam Khamenei’s position about nuclear weapons, transitional political elites such as Egypt’s Pres. Morsi (Muslim Brotherhood) and Tunisia’s PM Jebali (Ennahda Movement), and Malaysia and Indonesia’s rising Salafi (political) movements are few examples that it is now apparent that there is an imperative motivation why Islamic discourses gradually dominate contemporary international relations, and how it affects the West in a theory-praxis spectrum.

The objectives of this section are to show juxtaposed positions of mutual or diverse perceptions between IR and Islam based on conceived notions of contested conceptions like sovereignty, nation-state, human rights, gender, etc., and place Islam in the epitome of global discourse of international relations as a major causal factor that affect the behaviors of actors in the international system.

amnassef's profile pic

amnassef | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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- Call for Panels and/or Paper Presenters -

Deadline: February 8, 2013

Conference: 8th Pan-European Conference on International Relations (18-21 September 2013, Warsaw, Poland)

Organizers: The European International Studies Association, Institute of International Relations (University of Warsaw), and the Polish Association for International Studies

Section Title: "Critical Relations of International Relations and Islam"

Chairs: Nassef Manabilang Adiong and Dr. Adis Duderija (University of Malaya)

hteshak's profile pic

hteshak | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

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I think that for the moment, islam is considered as irrelevant  by many states, but as is known in the quran it will be given its importance not by the arab muslims but "el adjam" which means non-arab muslims. they will study it and apply it as it is.

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