Palestinian Academic Describes Historical, Modern Contexts of Political Islam

Palestinian researcher Khaled Hroub discussed contemporary debates over the relationship between Islam and political legitimacy in a lecture held on April 10, 2016.Hroub, speaking at the invitation of the Social Sciences PhD program, provided a broad historical analysis of the rise of political Islam and its reemergence in the contemporary Muslim Middle East. “The evolution of political Islam must be considered within its contextual and ideological context. It is best understood individually within its own historical, socio-political and cultural setting,” he cautioned.“An argument that has become almost commonsensical today is whether the parties of political Islam are a natural outgrowth of Muslim societies. They have consistently [been linked this way] through history, thereby creating the impression that religion and politics were more closely intertwined than they actually are.”“Combining politics with religion is a big mistake,” Hroub went on. “When Islam takes a political role in a state, disputes will increase for the sake of power and authority.”Khaled Al-Hroub is professor in residence of the faculty of liberal arts at Northwestern University in Qatar. His focus is Middle Eastern studies and Arab media studies. Al-Hroub is also a senior research fellow at the Centre of Islamic Studies of the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge, where he is the director of Cambridge Arab Media Project (CAMP).