Islam, People And Power [world Service]

Episodes

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01Islam, People and Power: The Sunni Traditionalists - The Compass2016111720161120 (WS)

The battle of ideas that accompanied the Arab uprisings

The Compass - exploring our world.

The anti-government protests that began in the Arab world in 2010 triggered division between the religious scholars of Islam’s largest branch – the traditional Sunnis. Some of the most senior Sunni scholars in the world held fast to the idea that revolution, and even simple protest, was forbidden in Islam. Others decided to back armed groups in Syria, though not the global jihadists of al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Presenter Safa Al Ahmad travels to Egypt to meet Dr Abbas Shouman, one of the most senior scholars at Islam’s most famous seat of learning, Al Azhar University. She also tells the story of Sheikh Ramadan al-Bouti, a famous Syrian Islamic scholar whose stance on the uprisings cost him his life.

(Photo: Anti-Government protesters in Cairo. Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

01Islam, People and Power: The Sunni Traditionalists - The Compass2016111720170412 (WS)

The battle of ideas that accompanied the Arab uprisings

The Compass - exploring our world.

The anti-government protests that began in the Arab world in 2010 triggered division between the religious scholars of Islam’s largest branch – the traditional Sunnis. Some of the most senior Sunni scholars in the world held fast to the idea that revolution, and even simple protest, was forbidden in Islam. Others decided to back armed groups in Syria, though not the global jihadists of al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Presenter Safa Al Ahmad travels to Egypt to meet Dr Abbas Shouman, one of the most senior scholars at Islam’s most famous seat of learning, Al Azhar University. She also tells the story of Sheikh Ramadan al-Bouti, a famous Syrian Islamic scholar whose stance on the uprisings cost him his life.

(Photo: Anti-Government protesters in Cairo. Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

01Islam, People and Power: The Sunni Traditionalists - The Compass2016111720170416 (WS)

The battle of ideas that accompanied the Arab uprisings

The Compass - exploring our world.

The anti-government protests that began in the Arab world in 2010 triggered division between the religious scholars of Islam’s largest branch – the traditional Sunnis. Some of the most senior Sunni scholars in the world held fast to the idea that revolution, and even simple protest, was forbidden in Islam. Others decided to back armed groups in Syria, though not the global jihadists of al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Presenter Safa Al Ahmad travels to Egypt to meet Dr Abbas Shouman, one of the most senior scholars at Islam’s most famous seat of learning, Al Azhar University. She also tells the story of Sheikh Ramadan al-Bouti, a famous Syrian Islamic scholar whose stance on the uprisings cost him his life.

(Photo: Anti-Government protesters in Cairo. Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

01Islam, People and Power: The Sunni Traditionalists - The Compass20161117

The battle of ideas that accompanied the Arab uprisings

The Compass - exploring our world.

The anti-government protests that began in the Arab world in 2010 triggered division between the religious scholars of Islam’s largest branch – the traditional Sunnis. Some of the most senior Sunni scholars in the world held fast to the idea that revolution, and even simple protest, was forbidden in Islam. Others decided to back armed groups in Syria, though not the global jihadists of al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Presenter Safa Al Ahmad travels to Egypt to meet Dr Abbas Shouman, one of the most senior scholars at Islam’s most famous seat of learning, Al Azhar University. She also tells the story of Sheikh Ramadan al-Bouti, a famous Syrian Islamic scholar whose stance on the uprisings cost him his life.

(Photo: Anti-Government protesters in Cairo. Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

01The Compass2016111720161120 (WS)
20170412 (WS)
20170416 (WS)

The battle of ideas that accompanied the Arab uprisings

The anti-government protests that began in the Arab world in 2010 triggered division between the religious scholars of Islam’s largest branch – the traditional Sunnis. Some of the most senior Sunni scholars in the world held fast to the idea that revolution, and even simple protest, was forbidden in Islam. Others decided to back armed groups in Syria, though not the global jihadists of al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Presenter Safa al-Ahmad travels to Egypt to meet Dr Abbas Shouman, one of the most senior scholars at Islam’s most famous seat of learning, Al Azhar University. She also tells the story of Sheikh Ramadan al-Bouti, a famous Syrian Islamic scholar whose stance on the uprisings cost him his life.

(Photo: Anti-Government protesters in Cairo. Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

New series exploring the battle of ideas that accompanied the Arab uprisings.

Is rebelling against an oppressive government a religious obligation or a sin in Islam?

Reporter Safa al Ahmad travels to Egypt to meet Dr Abbas Shouman, one of the most senior scholars at Islam’s most famous seat of learning, Al Azhar University. She also tells the story of Sheikh Ramadan al Bouti, a famous Syrian Islamic scholar whose stance on the uprisings cost him his life.

Producer: Wesley Stephenson

Editor: Innes Bowen

Research: Hazem Mahdali

(Image: Anti-Government protesters in Cairo. Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

02Islam, People and Power: The Salafis - The Compass2016112420161127 (WS)

Disputes in Islam\u2019s most misunderstood sect - the Wahhabis, also known as Salafis

The Compass - exploring our world.

Wahhabism is the most misunderstood brand of Islam. It is more correctly called Salafism and is a fundamentalist interpretation of the faith, often associated with Saudi Arabia. The salafis have long been split between jihadists who justify violently overthrowing their rulers and quietists who believe that even oppressive governments should be obeyed. Since the Arab uprisings, two new groups – salafi democrats and salafi revolutionaries – have come to the fore too.

Presenter Safa Al Ahmad talks to representatives of all positions in the current debate within salafi Islam about the relationship between religion and politics.

(Photo: Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh. Credit: Hassan Ammar/AFP/Getty Images)

02Islam, People and Power: The Salafis - The Compass2016112420170419 (WS)

Disputes in Islam\u2019s most misunderstood sect - the Wahhabis, also known as Salafis

The Compass - exploring our world.

Wahhabism is the most misunderstood brand of Islam. It is more correctly called Salafism and is a fundamentalist interpretation of the faith, often associated with Saudi Arabia. The salafis have long been split between jihadists who justify violently overthrowing their rulers and quietists who believe that even oppressive governments should be obeyed. Since the Arab uprisings, two new groups – salafi democrats and salafi revolutionaries – have come to the fore too.

Presenter Safa Al Ahmad talks to representatives of all positions in the current debate within salafi Islam about the relationship between religion and politics.

(Photo: Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh. Credit: Hassan Ammar/AFP/Getty Images)

02Islam, People and Power: The Salafis - The Compass2016112420170423 (WS)

Disputes in Islam\u2019s most misunderstood sect - the Wahhabis, also known as Salafis

The Compass - exploring our world.

Wahhabism is the most misunderstood brand of Islam. It is more correctly called Salafism and is a fundamentalist interpretation of the faith, often associated with Saudi Arabia. The salafis have long been split between jihadists who justify violently overthrowing their rulers and quietists who believe that even oppressive governments should be obeyed. Since the Arab uprisings, two new groups – salafi democrats and salafi revolutionaries – have come to the fore too.

Presenter Safa Al Ahmad talks to representatives of all positions in the current debate within salafi Islam about the relationship between religion and politics.

(Photo: Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh. Credit: Hassan Ammar/AFP/Getty Images)

02Islam, People and Power: The Salafis - The Compass20161124

Disputes in Islam\u2019s most misunderstood sect - the Wahhabis, also known as Salafis

The Compass - exploring our world.

Wahhabism is the most misunderstood brand of Islam. It is more correctly called Salafism and is a fundamentalist interpretation of the faith, often associated with Saudi Arabia. The salafis have long been split between jihadists who justify violently overthrowing their rulers and quietists who believe that even oppressive governments should be obeyed. Since the Arab uprisings, two new groups – salafi democrats and salafi revolutionaries – have come to the fore too.

Presenter Safa Al Ahmad talks to representatives of all positions in the current debate within salafi Islam about the relationship between religion and politics.

(Photo: Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh. Credit: Hassan Ammar/AFP/Getty Images)

02The Compass2016112420161127 (WS)
20170419 (WS)
20170423 (WS)

Wahhabism is the most misunderstood brand of Islam. It is more correctly called Salafism and is a fundamentalist interpretation of the faith, often associated with Saudi Arabia. The salafis have long been split between jihadists who justify violently overthrowing their rulers and quietists who believe that even oppressive governments should be obeyed. Since the Arab uprisings, two new groups – salafi democrats and salafi revolutionaries – have come to the fore too.

Presenter Safa al-Ahmad talks to representatives of all positions in the current debate within salafi Islam about the relationship between religion and politics.

(Photo: Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh. Credit: Hassan Ammar/AFP/Getty Images)

Disputes in Islam’s most misunderstood sect - the Wahhabis, also known as Salafis

03Islam, People and Power: The Islamists - The Compass2016120120161204 (WS)

Why the Muslim Brotherhood has fractured since the Arab uprisings

The Compass - exploring our world.

What should the relationship be between Islam and the state? This is the question which dominates political debate in the Arab world. Many traditional Islamic scholars believe in the separation of religion and politics. For the Muslim Brotherhood though – the Arab world’s foremost social and political movement - the goal is to create an Islamic state.

In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood was elected to power after the Arab uprisings. But its plans quickly ended in failure. After just a year in office, the Brotherhood government faced mass protests before it was deposed by a military coup.

As presenter Safa Al Ahmad discovers, these events have caused an unprecedented level of debate between members past and present. She talks to a Brotherhood veteran who believes the Brotherhood should have remained a social movement rather than entering politics and to young members who believe it should be more revolutionary.

(Image: Muslim Brotherhood supporter holds a banner with the Arabic slogan 'Islam is the Solution' during a demonstration in Cairo 08 November 2005. Credit: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)

03Islam, People and Power: The Islamists - The Compass2016120120170426 (WS)

Why the Muslim Brotherhood has fractured since the Arab uprisings

The Compass - exploring our world.

What should the relationship be between Islam and the state? This is the question which dominates political debate in the Arab world. Many traditional Islamic scholars believe in the separation of religion and politics. For the Muslim Brotherhood though – the Arab world’s foremost social and political movement - the goal is to create an Islamic state.

In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood was elected to power after the Arab uprisings. But its plans quickly ended in failure. After just a year in office, the Brotherhood government faced mass protests before it was deposed by a military coup.

As presenter Safa Al Ahmad discovers, these events have caused an unprecedented level of debate between members past and present. She talks to a Brotherhood veteran who believes the Brotherhood should have remained a social movement rather than entering politics and to young members who believe it should be more revolutionary.

(Image: Muslim Brotherhood supporter holds a banner with the Arabic slogan 'Islam is the Solution' during a demonstration in Cairo 08 November 2005. Credit: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)

03Islam, People and Power: The Islamists - The Compass2016120120170430 (WS)

Why the Muslim Brotherhood has fractured since the Arab uprisings

The Compass - exploring our world.

What should the relationship be between Islam and the state? This is the question which dominates political debate in the Arab world. Many traditional Islamic scholars believe in the separation of religion and politics. For the Muslim Brotherhood though – the Arab world’s foremost social and political movement - the goal is to create an Islamic state.

In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood was elected to power after the Arab uprisings. But its plans quickly ended in failure. After just a year in office, the Brotherhood government faced mass protests before it was deposed by a military coup.

As presenter Safa Al Ahmad discovers, these events have caused an unprecedented level of debate between members past and present. She talks to a Brotherhood veteran who believes the Brotherhood should have remained a social movement rather than entering politics and to young members who believe it should be more revolutionary.

(Image: Muslim Brotherhood supporter holds a banner with the Arabic slogan 'Islam is the Solution' during a demonstration in Cairo 08 November 2005. Credit: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)

03Islam, People and Power: The Islamists - The Compass20161201

Why the Muslim Brotherhood has fractured since the Arab uprisings

The Compass - exploring our world.

What should the relationship be between Islam and the state? This is the question which dominates political debate in the Arab world. Many traditional Islamic scholars believe in the separation of religion and politics. For the Muslim Brotherhood though – the Arab world’s foremost social and political movement - the goal is to create an Islamic state.

In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood was elected to power after the Arab uprisings. But its plans quickly ended in failure. After just a year in office, the Brotherhood government faced mass protests before it was deposed by a military coup.

As presenter Safa Al Ahmad discovers, these events have caused an unprecedented level of debate between members past and present. She talks to a Brotherhood veteran who believes the Brotherhood should have remained a social movement rather than entering politics and to young members who believe it should be more revolutionary.

(Image: Muslim Brotherhood supporter holds a banner with the Arabic slogan 'Islam is the Solution' during a demonstration in Cairo 08 November 2005. Credit: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)

03The Compass2016120120161204 (WS)
20170426 (WS)

Why the Muslim Brotherhood has fractured since the Arab uprisings

What should the relationship be between Islam and the state? This is the question which dominates political debate in the Arab world. Many traditional Islamic scholars believe in the separation of religion and politics. For the Muslim Brotherhood though – the Arab world’s foremost social and political movement - the goal is to create an Islamic state.

In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood was elected to power after the Arab uprisings. But its plans quickly ended in failure. After just a year in office, the Brotherhood government faced mass protests before it was deposed by a military coup.

As presenter Safa Al Ahmad discovers, these events have caused an unprecedented level of debate between members past and present. She talks to a Brotherhood veteran who believes the Brotherhood should have remained a social movement rather than entering politics and to young members who believe it should be more revolutionary.

(Image: Muslim Brotherhood supporter holds a banner with the Arabic slogan 'Islam is the Solution' during a demonstration in Cairo 08 November 2005. Credit: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)

Safa Al Ahmad investigates the dominant political debate in the Arab world - the relationship between Islam and the state.

04Islam, People and Power: The Shia - The Compass2016120820161211 (WS)

The debate within Shi\u2019ism about the role of Islam in government

The Compass - exploring our world.

Within Shi’ism there is a high level disagreement about the role of Islam in government. Shia-dominated Iran is an Islamic republic, led by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a senior Islamic cleric. But the Iranian model of government - a theocratic state - is not supported by Shi’ism’s most senior Islamic cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani who is based in the Iraqi city of Najaf.
“Khamenei is the head of Iranian army. Sistani is not the head of Iraqi army,” explains Iraqi politician Walid al-Hilli. But, as presenter Safa al-Ahmad discovers on a visit to Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Sistani has significant influence on the way Iraq is governed.

(Photo: A V-sign for victory is flashed in front of a portrait of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Credit: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

04Islam, People and Power: The Shia - The Compass2016120820170503 (WS)

The debate within Shi\u2019ism about the role of Islam in government

The Compass - exploring our world.

Within Shi’ism there is a high level disagreement about the role of Islam in government. Shia-dominated Iran is an Islamic republic, led by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a senior Islamic cleric. But the Iranian model of government - a theocratic state - is not supported by Shi’ism’s most senior Islamic cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani who is based in the Iraqi city of Najaf.
“Khamenei is the head of Iranian army. Sistani is not the head of Iraqi army,” explains Iraqi politician Walid al-Hilli. But, as presenter Safa al-Ahmad discovers on a visit to Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Sistani has significant influence on the way Iraq is governed.

(Photo: A V-sign for victory is flashed in front of a portrait of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Credit: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

04Islam, People and Power: The Shia - The Compass2016120820170507 (WS)

The debate within Shi\u2019ism about the role of Islam in government

The Compass - exploring our world.

Within Shi’ism there is a high level disagreement about the role of Islam in government. Shia-dominated Iran is an Islamic republic, led by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a senior Islamic cleric. But the Iranian model of government - a theocratic state - is not supported by Shi’ism’s most senior Islamic cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani who is based in the Iraqi city of Najaf.
“Khamenei is the head of Iranian army. Sistani is not the head of Iraqi army,” explains Iraqi politician Walid al-Hilli. But, as presenter Safa al-Ahmad discovers on a visit to Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Sistani has significant influence on the way Iraq is governed.

(Photo: A V-sign for victory is flashed in front of a portrait of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Credit: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

04Islam, People and Power: The Shia - The Compass20161208

The debate within Shi\u2019ism about the role of Islam in government

The Compass - exploring our world.

Within Shi’ism there is a high level disagreement about the role of Islam in government. Shia-dominated Iran is an Islamic republic, led by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a senior Islamic cleric. But the Iranian model of government - a theocratic state - is not supported by Shi’ism’s most senior Islamic cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani who is based in the Iraqi city of Najaf.
“Khamenei is the head of Iranian army. Sistani is not the head of Iraqi army,” explains Iraqi politician Walid al-Hilli. But, as presenter Safa al-Ahmad discovers on a visit to Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Sistani has significant influence on the way Iraq is governed.

(Photo: A V-sign for victory is flashed in front of a portrait of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Credit: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

04The Compass2016120820161211 (WS)

Within Shi’ism there is a high level disagreement about the role of Islam in government. Shia-dominated Iran is an Islamic republic, led by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a senior Islamic cleric. But the Iranian model of government - a theocratic state - is not supported by Shi’ism’s most senior Islamic cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani who is based in the Iraqi city of Najaf.

“Khamenei is the head of Iranian army. Sistani is not the head of Iraqi army,? explains Iraqi politician Walid al-Hilli. But, as presenter Safa al-Ahmad discovers on a visit to Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Sistani has significant influence on the way Iraq is governed.

(Photo: A V-sign for victory is flashed in front of a portrait of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Credit: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

The debate within Shi’ism about the role of Islam in government

Safa Al Ahmad investigates the dominant political debate in the Arab world - the relationship between Islam and the state.

05Islam, People and Power: Reflections - The Compass2016121520161218 (WS)

Safa Al Ahmad chairs a discussion about the role of Islam in politics in the Arab world.

The Compass - exploring our world.

Presenter Safa al Ahmad is joined by a panel of experts to reflect on the issues raised in her documentary series 'Islam People and Power'.

Her guests in the studio are:

Dr Maha Azzam, former Associate Fellow of Chatham House, now Head of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council.

Dr Hazem Kandil, Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge and author of Inside The Brotherhood.

Hassan Hassan, Fellow of The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy and author of ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror.

Editor: Innes Bowen

(Image: Safa al Ahmad in the studio. Credit: BBC)

05Islam, People and Power: Reflections - The Compass20161215

Safa Al Ahmad chairs a discussion about the role of Islam in politics in the Arab world.

The Compass - exploring our world.

Presenter Safa al Ahmad is joined by a panel of experts to reflect on the issues raised in her documentary series 'Islam People and Power'.

Her guests in the studio are:

Dr Maha Azzam, former Associate Fellow of Chatham House, now Head of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council.

Dr Hazem Kandil, Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge and author of Inside The Brotherhood.

Hassan Hassan, Fellow of The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy and author of ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror.

Editor: Innes Bowen

(Image: Safa al Ahmad in the studio. Credit: BBC)

05The Compass2016121520161218 (WS)

Safa Al Ahmad chairs a discussion about the role of Islam in politics in the Arab world.

Presenter Safa al Ahmad returns to London to reflect on the issues raised in previous programmes in this series.

Her guests in the studio are:

Dr Maha Azzam, former Associate Fellow of Chatham House, now Head of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council.

Dr Hazem Kandil, Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge and author of Inside The Brotherhood.

Hassan Hassan, Fellow of The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy and author of ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror.

Editor: Innes Bowen

(Image: Safa al Ahmad in the studio. Credit: BBC)

Presenter Safa al Ahmad is joined by a panel of experts to reflect on the issues raised in her documentary series 'Islam People and Power'.