Lecture to explore the connections between Islam and political violence

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will host a lecture on Wednesday, Feb. 20, about connections between Islam and political violence.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will host a lecture on Wednesday, Feb. 20, about connections between Islam and political violence. 

Dr. Suveyda Karakaya, an adjunct faculty member at UA Little Rock, Clinton School of Public Service, and Philander Smith College, will give her talk, “Islam and Political Violence: Is There a Connection,” at 7 p.m. in Donaghey Student Center Room 205D.

Since the 9/11 attacks against the United States, the idea that the religion of Islam is associated with political violence and terrorism has continued to grow. Among all religions, Islam is the most commonly associated with political violence. The spread of civil wars in the Muslim world and the rise of extremist groups such as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) contribute to the association of Islam and political violence. While some argue that unfavorable socio-economic and political conditions are driving violence in the Muslim world, others emphasize the influence of religion in fostering violence.

The lecture will review competing explanations and empirical findings on Islam and political violence as well as explore the prevalence of political violence in the Muslim world and the extent that religion plays a role in promoting violence.

Karakaya holds a Ph.D. in political science with a concentration in international relations and comparative politics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her research involves the substantive themes of religion and political violence, nonviolent resistance, globalization, and protest participation with a specific geographical focus on the Middle East and North Africa.

For more information, contact Dr. Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm, coordinator of the Middle Eastern Studies Program, at ejwiebelhaus@ualr.edu.

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