The Military Expansion of Islam

The first two lessons in this course on Islam will cover the first 13 centuries from the death of Muhammad to the Ottoman Empire in World War I. It is important to understand Islamic military expansion over those centuries because it is the foundation for what occurs in the 20th and 21st centuries. In the last six sessions there will be a significant discussion of how European colonialism impacted Islam following World War I and the interwar period from 1919-1939. Much of what occurred during that period set the circumstance from which the violence in the latter part of the 20th and 21st century emanated.

Included in the discussion will be the development of Mesopotamia, Southern Hejaz, and Palestine, which were directly impacted by both British and French colonialism, the decision by the British crown to provide a homeland in Palestine for the Jewish community following the Balfour Declaration, and all the implications for inserting the Jewish homeland into the center of Islam. In the final stages of the course we will discuss the origins of Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin-Laden, the influence of leaders like Saddam Hussein and Bashar Hafez al-Assad, and the development of ISIS out of the Second Iraq War.

  • Group Leader(s): LAWRENCE CLIFFORD
  • Days: Tuesdays
  • Times: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
  • Start Date: 10/8/2019
  • End Date: 11/26/2019
  • Sessions: 8
  • Exceptions: none
  • Venue: King's Chapel Parish House
  • Teaching Style: Lecture and discussion
  • Weekly Preparation: 1 hour
  • Biography:

    Lawrence Clifford is a former officer in the United States Air Force, having served for 22 years. He earned his doctorate in clinical and educational psychology from Indiana University and in Soviet Military History from Boston College. Dr. Clifford taught military history and the Vietnam War for over a decade. While in the US Air Force, he served for five years in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, three years in the Mideast, and a similar period of time in Africa and Central America. He is fluent in French, Russian, Spanish, and Arabic.

  • Address: 64 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108