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September 11 Explored in New Islam Course

For immediate release 4 June 2002

September 11 Explored in New Islam Course

A new course offered at The University of Auckland this year aims to provide students and the wider community with a balanced view of the Muslim world in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

Offered for the first time in the second semester of 2002, 'Fundamentally Muslim-Islam, Modernity & Cultural Identity' has been put together in part as a reaction to media coverage of the trade centre attacks.

"We felt that there was an interest in the community and a need to counter the quick, negative glimpses of Islam that television sometimes gives us," says lecturer Dr Tim Behrend.

However, Dr Behrend says while the course looks at the events of September 11 and provides an insight into some forms of Islamic extremism, it also focuses on wider issues, such as Muslim reactions to modernity and globalisation.

"We consider how Islam has functioned in national movements such as the breaking away of former colonies from Europe," Dr Behrend says. "For example, some countries used Islam as a major component in creating their own national identity while others, such as Turkey, adopted a more secular approach," says Dr Behrend.

"The course will also look at how Islamic countries have reacted to globalisation and the fundamental changes to the world economy and technologies," he says. "It is an attempt to step in and look at Islam from the inside," he says.

"Students will discover that the Muslim world is just as diverse and complex as the West, and there's much more to it than just the political thinking of some fringe elements," Dr Behrend says.

Taken as a stage two course, the paper can form part of a Bachelor of Arts degree or other undergraduate programme.

For enquiries or to enrol in the course, contact 0800 61 62 63.

ENDS

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