Middle East And North Africa Research Group "Islamism & Islamist alterity, Understanding Political Islam"

15 décembre 2016, 20h, Film Plateau, Paddenhoek 3, 9000 Gent, Belgique.

Description : During this lecture series national and international guests will be sharing their insights on contemporary forms of political Islam and the many forms of Islamist activism in Europe and the Arab world in an interdisciplinary manner. 

Lecture: Francois Burgat (Iremam - CNRS). Discutant: Sami Zemni (Menarg, UGent).

Since the 2000’s a resurgence of a certain "political Islam" crystallizes mistrust. Numerous encounters with actors of this movement in different countries, show that their motivations are mostly secular and political rather than religious. In his Forthcoming book "Understanding Political Islam: a research trajectory on Islamist alterity, 1973-2016.", Francois Burgat traces the human and scientific path that led him to express a very strong conviction today. He namely considers the actual tensions in the relation between the Western and the Muslim world have a political rather than an ideological origin. The selfishness from which they are the product is primarily 'ours' and not only, as too often a comfortable laziness makes us think, that of the "other," which never ceases to "decolonize" from us: the Muslim.

François Burgat is a political scientist and arabist, fiercly engaged in the academic and public debates in France and beyond concerning Islamism. He published numerous compelling books on political islam in the Arab World. Including "The Islamic Movement in North Africa" (1997), "Face to Face with Political Islam" (2002), "Islamism in the shadow of al-Qaeda" (2005). He is presently responsible for the research program “When Authoritarism Fails in the Arab World” at the Institute for Research on the Arab and Muslim world (IREMAM), where he is director.

Sami Zemni is professor in political and social sciences at the Conflict Research Group a multidisciplinary research unit at Ghent University. He coordinates and leads the Middle East and North Africa Research Group. His area of expertise is politics within the Middle East and North Africa region, with special reference to political Islam. He focuses on processes of neoliberalisation, globalization and political change in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt.