Please read this letter, syllabus and all other materials carefully. If you have any questions regarding the information, please contact the instructor.
The class is hosted on Moodle at https://moodle.stchas.edu. A quick reference guide will be posted for easy access.
Welcome to An Introduction to the Culture of Islamic Societies, an online three-hour course that will introduce you to the religion of Islam and the culture which has arisen because of it. It is an introductory course and requires no pre-existing knowledge of Islam – a class on Islam for non-Muslims, if you will (although anyone is welcome).
This course provides a comprehensive overview of Islam. It begins with a basic introduction to the geography of the Muslim world, the basic beliefs, rituals and doctrines of Islam, the Qur’an, the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad and an introduction to Islamic Law. The course then continues with a survey of Islamic History from Pre-Islamic times through the modern era. The “Golden Age of Islam” will be explored at length focusing on the topics of Islam and Science, the contributions of Muslim thinkers, Literature, Calligraphy, Art and Architecture.
After setting a cultural and historical framework for understanding, the course delves into topics of special contemporary relevance and interest to Western students. Specifically, the course presents and discusses the position of women in Islam, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and extremism, the concept of Jihad and the portrayal of Muslims in the American media.
The course concludes with a discussion of present day East/West conflicts and the “War on Terror”, ultimately calling for mutual understanding and peaceful co-existence.
I am available to answer your questions and assist you whenever you need it. Please allow a reasonable amount of time for a response. If you call, make sure to leave a message about what you require from me as well as a call back number. I conduct office hours via Skype.
While there are no pre-requisites for the course, there are requirements concerning mind-set. I expect to have students from a wide variety of backgrounds – religious, geographical, ethnic. In a course like this, it is easy to bring ones baggage along - some of it may be old and trustworthy, some of it may be more recently acquired, some of it may have proved useful up till now. I urge you, however, to leave your bags at the door and to come in prepared to learn new things and to hear others’ stories. Because of the sensitive nature of the subject being discussed, I would like to make it clear that “hate” speech or foul language of any kind will not be tolerated. But keeping that in mind, I would like to encourage each of you to feel free to speak your mind and ask questions.
By the end of this course, inshAllah, you will have shattered some preconceptions and stereotypes and you will have opened a window onto a world-view different from your own (regardless of what you believe) and you will have broadened your outlook in ways that may be eye-opening to you. I look forward to escorting you on this journey of discovery.
Course Instructor Contact information:
Department of Humanities
Hours and location:
Via Skype (Arabicteacher11) or by phone
M,T,W & R
8:30-9:30 a.m. and by appointment
* If you wish to contact me on Skype, please establish a Skype account and establish instructor as a contact prior to the beginning of class. When you establish contact, be sure to indicate that you are student from St. Charles Community College and enrolled in GLC-290.
Islam Faith, Culture, History. Paul Lunde.
DK Publishing Inc. New York, NY.
2002 ISBN #0-7894-8797-2
(Please order this text via the internet ASAP. The bookstore has had a problem in obtaining it.)
Islam: A Thousand Years of Faith and Power. Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair.
TV Books. LLC New York, NY.
2000 ISBN # 1-57500-092-X
Islam Today. Akbar S. Ahmed.
I.B. Taurus Publishers. New York, NY.
2002 ISBN #1-86064-257-8
Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire. Deepa Kumar.
Haymarket Books. Chicago, IL
2012 ISBN# 978-583-7884
Online Articles: (available in Moodle under the appropriate week)
Islam, Culture and Women – Ruqaiyya Waris Maksood
Wahhabism, Salafism and Islamism: Who is the enemy?
How to Lose the War on Terror
In order to complete this course, you must:
By the conclusion of the class, students will be expected to know:
Readings: Reading assignments will be posted on Moodle by week. There is a good deal of it. The workload is identical to that of a regular course. Do not underestimate the time and attention the course demands. Do not allow yourself to fall behind in reading the course material or completing quizzes and exams.
Videos: Videos will be made available on Moodle. The materials are enjoyable and highly informative. Please take notes as you are watching. The films are an important part of the class and you will be tested on them.
Quizzes: A number of quizzes are posted in Moodle and on Quia. Quia quizzes require a password and a sign on which will be assigned by the instructor at the beginning of the semester. These quizzes will help to assist you in understanding what is important. Studying from them will help you greatly on the midterm and final exams.
Discussion Forum: A discussion forum will be established to answer any questions about the material and to discuss issues. Participation is required.
Assignments: There are a few written assignments that are to be completed online.
Tests: A midterm and a final exam will be posted on the site. The midterm has a one hour time limit and the final a two hour time limit and you have one attempt to complete the test. It is open book/open notes, however, you only have a limited time. You must be familiar with the material in order to complete the exam in the limited amount of time.
Final Grade: The final grade will be calculated based on quiz scores (30%), participation in discussion forum and written assignments (20%), midterm exam (25%) and final exam (25%).
7:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
9 a.m.-2 p.m.
7:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Manager: Gayle Palmer, 636-922-8378