institute for the study of nonviolence

SUBJECT OVERVIEW

In a world often dominated by conflict and strife, the teachings of Islam offer a profound perspective on non-violence and peace. With its core principles rooted in compassion, understanding, and respect for all, Islam provides a framework for fostering harmony within oneself and society. The Institute for the Study of Nonviolence advocates for these principles, promoting peaceful resolutions to conflicts. In this article, we delve into the significance of non-violence in Islam, its foundations, and how it guides believers toward achieving peace. Additionally, we explore how Arabic studies illuminate these teachings, enriching our understanding of Islamic principles of peace and non-violence.

TOPICS COVERED

– What are the full costs of war?
– Can there be realistic alternatives to war and violence?
– Can we compare the results of nonviolent struggles versus violent struggles?
– Do Muslims have a history of nonviolent action against authoritarian rulers and occupiers?
– How can peaceful methods enable people to defeat violent opposition?

Primary Texts
– The Politics of Nonviolent Action Trilogy (Parts I, II, III) by Gene Sharp.
– Islam and nonviolence edited by Glenn D. Paige, Chaiwat Satha-Anand (Qader Muheideen), and Sarah Gilliatt.

Reference Text
– Defense, Peace, and War Economics by Christopher J. Coyne

LEARNING OUTCOMES

– Become highly acquainted with the popular and academic literature on nonviolence and peace studies.
– Understand why war and violence are highly costly and inefficient methods of solving conflicts and moral dilemmas.
– Confidently explain what nonviolent action is and how it is different from pacifism.
– Obtain a strong background regarding the extensive use of nonviolent struggle across Muslim history.
– Recall a broad set of nonviolent strategies (e.g., boycotts, strikes, etc.) that have historically replaced violence successfully.

COURSES TAUGHT

Introduction to Nonviolence & Peace Studies

Credit hours - 1
This course is an introduction to nonviolence and peace studies. Students will learn about the foundations of costs of war and its seen and unseen effects. They will study the history of war studies as a distinctive field and the rise of nonviolence and peace studies as a realistic alternative. Moreover, they will be exposed to analyses comparing nonviolent struggle to war (violent struggle) based on their short-term and long-term effects. The texts covered for this class will be Politics of Nonviolent Action – Part One and Defense, Peace, and War Economics.

Islam & Nonviolence

Credit hours - 1
This course is a survey of the vast scholarship on the intersection of Islam with nonviolence. Students will be exposed to a history of violence and nonviolence in Islamic thought. They will also learn the ideas and struggles of a set of Muslim thinkers, activists, and peacemakers who paved the way for significant socioeconomic changes. Moreover, they will study how nonviolence intersects with global transformation, social transformation, the role of women in Islam, and more. The texts covered for this class will be Islam and Nonviolence.

Methods & Dynamics of Nonviolent Action

Credit hours - 1
This course is an in-depth study of nonviolent methods and strategies and how they are useful in creating change without bloodshed. It will focus on exactly how and why nonviolence works. Students will learn about effective nonviolent methods like boycotts, peaceful protests, strikes, noncooperation, and mass civil disobedience and compare them to their violent counterparts. The methods will be discussed extensively with plenty of historical examples in different countries around the world. The texts covered for this class will be Politics of Nonviolent Action – Part Two & Three.