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Muslim Wars & Warriors
Mehmet Gurses

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: War has played a key role in the rise and spread of Islam. The beginnings of war can be traced back to the Muslim holy book, the Quran, and the actions and words of the Muslim prophet, Mohammed. What and who are the major wars and warriors in Muslim history? In this lecture series we will discuss some important events and persons that have greatly influenced Muslim history. The series is divided into two main parts. First, we will discuss some key Muslim warriors starting with the first and most influential one, Mohammad. Next, we will discuss the founding fathers of modern day Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey. The second group of lectures will start with a discussion of the first Muslim civil war in the 7th century that has since become a major source of debate and controversy. We will then delve into the consequences of two World Wars for the Muslim world. Just as the two World Wars laid the shaky grounds for modern nation states in the Middle East and North Africa, the US invasion of Iraq has triggered tectonic changes in the region and demonstrated the weak foundations of existing state structures. We will end the series with the threat posed by the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) to Muslims, Israel, and the West.

1. Muhammed: The Warrior Prophet
2. Ibn Saud: The Modern Maker of Saudi Arabia
3. General Nasser: The Rise and Fall of a Revolutionary
4. Kamal Ataturk: Like No One Else
5. The Battle of Siffin: The First Muslim Civil War
6. How Two World Wars Shaped the Modern Muslim World
7. Bush v. Saddam: Round 1
8. The Islamic State: The Ultimate Challenge to Muslims and Israelis
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Dr. Mehmet Gurses joined the Department of Political Science at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in 2007, after completing his doctorate at the University of North Texas. An expert on Middle East politics, he specializes in ethnic and religious conflict, post-civil war peace-building, democratization, and Islamist parties in the Middle East. Dr. Gurses frequently speaks to groups in several communities on a range of topics relating to the Middle East. His scholarly publications have appeared in International Interactions, Social Science Quarterly, Civil Wars, Defense and Peace Economics, Democratization, International Studies Perspectives and Nationalism and Ethnic Politics.

Time: 11:15 am - 1:00 pm
Date: Mondays, January 11, 25; February 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; March 7
Location: Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Fees: Member advance registration - $74
Door price member/non-member - $110

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