Most people think that Islam was spread by the sword, but as it turns out there were much more practical considerations such as freedom from taxation and better business opportunities that actually persuaded many non-Muslims living under Muslim rule to convert.
The Arab Spring surprised many in the West who believed Islam is inherently incompatible with democracy. But the citizens of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya proved them wrong. Reza Aslan and Marc Lynch join us for this last program in our Inside Islam series.
“The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose,” Antonio says to Shylock in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Religion is often used and misused by politicians to gain power. To understand the intricate relationship between Islam and politics, Brandon Kendhammer, a PhD candidate in political science at UW-Madison with focus on African Studies, went to Northern Nigeria and studied the implementation of sharia law in the region since the country’s democratic transition in 1999. He sat down with Inside Islam recently to share his experience and research findings. You can watch the whole interview by clicking on the video below. Continue reading