Chevron Left
Back to Constitutional Struggles in the Muslim World

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Constitutional Struggles in the Muslim World by University of Copenhagen

645 ratings
196 reviews

About the Course

Learn what motivates the restive Muslim youth from Tunis to Tehran, what political positions Islamists from Mali to Chechnya are fighting for, where the seeming obsession with Islamic law comes from, where the secularists have vanished to, and whether it makes sense to speak of an Islamic state. Since 2009 there has been a renewed wave of popular unrest sweeping throughout much of the Muslim world. Secular, but generally repressive and inefficient autocracies have come under pressure or been swept aside entirely. At the same, the various Islamic Republics have not fared much better, but been convulsed by internal unrest, economic and social decline. Throughout the Muslim lands, existing constitutional arrangements are being challenged, often very violently. This course is a survey of the constitutional ideas and institutions that have developed since the mid 19th century throughout predominantly Muslim countries, but its focus will lie on the actors that have dominated this discourse and shaped its outcomes. We will look at the large body of classical writings on the Islamic state only in so far as it is necessary to understand the contemporary debate, but concentrate on the legal and political developments of the 20th and 21st centuries. Three common themes will characterise the course:  We privilege the study of the legal and social reality and seek to highlight where it is at odds with dogmatic stipulations, be they religious or constitutional.  We seek to illustrate the practical tensions posed by limited administrative capabilities and political legitimacy that resulted from the incomplete reception of modern bureaucratic statehood.  We seek to examine how popular dissatisfaction with the practical performance of Muslim governments has fuelled demands for greater accountability under the guise of cultural authenticity.  Ultimately, the course aims to equip participants to better understand Muslim contemporary discourse about the res publica, better contextualise the demands for religious law in public life, and to better ascertain the theoretical and practical feasibility of postulated religious alternatives to the still-dominant secular model of governance....

Top reviews

Nov 21, 2015

This course is really interesting and informative. It gave me a much better understanding for the history and politics behind some of the issues we are all facing today, and really broadened my mind.

Dec 27, 2015

The course was good. But the real situation has been changing drastically. A supplement or extension of course is required to cover the up to date situation about IS activities, syria Iraq etc.

Filter by:

26 - 50 of 194 Reviews for Constitutional Struggles in the Muslim World

By Antje M

Sep 7, 2017

I enjoyed this (as my first) coursera course from Ebrahim Afsah. I feel now to have a comprehensive overview about Arabic history and colonial past. I've learned to understand the struggles of the Arab world to be dissatisfied by capitalism and communism. The course also allowed a critical point of view on the missing self-criticism of the Arab World. All in all, although this was a lot of information to take in, i can say that I would love to take other courses by this Professor and his team. It was professional but also entertaining, with good materials and personal insights. Thank you and I believe we will see us again.

By Jorge D V P

Sep 6, 2017

It has been an excellent course, really very useful, I am very interesting the way to face the same on the part of the teacher, with a diagram that was very clear and didactic. The development of a theme as complex as this, especially for Westerners who really have little access to reliable sources in the face of the issue, given that we always find political and religious interests hidden behind. Really very good, I am currently attending the course on the failure of democracies after the Arab Spring. A pleasure greetings and I would like to continue investigating on this subject that I am passionate about.

By Filip G

May 8, 2016

For a survey course, this module does a fantastic job of presenting the various struggles and discourses in the Muslim world, as well as contextualizing its inherent problems both historically and within present-day. It does so objectively, without sacrificing important reflection in the name of political correctness. I recommend this course as a jump-off point for anyone who wants to better understand this topic on an introductory level, or would like to later pursue independent study into more complex or narrow topics. Thank you Professor Afsah!

By Maria A V

Dec 14, 2017

This is one of the best courses I have ever studied. It gives extensive insight in the political, cultural, historical and institutional backgrond of contemporary muslim countries. It provides sociological and interpretative threads to understand the main challenges met by these peoples in their "clash" with modernity, in a heartful and deeply researched attempt to find a way out of backwardness and radicalization, an attempt that defies radicalized and istitutionalized Islamic views, but also profoundly respects Islam itself.

By Elizia V

Mar 1, 2016

Really good course, I recommend it to anyone working in the MENA region as a journalist, or business person.

Great presentation of the subject. Professor Afsah's teaching style, insights and critical theory approach combined with pragmatic reflections is very enlightening and useful for me as a journalist working in Islamic nations.

I like the recap checks mid lesson, that's useful, as I'm working and get tired, so it's a good check on my own concentration levels.

By Khayal A

Feb 13, 2021

The course was engaging and full of interesting information about different regions where the religion of Islam is present. The instructor was presenting the ideas very well, with good intonation and the ability to engage with the viewers. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in state affairs within the Muslim World. Personally, I have learned a lot about the economy, politics, and the law of the countries with a predominantly Muslim population.

By Mohamed A

Aug 24, 2020

To me the course was a reality of what is happening in the muslim world. What We need to answer is question that we always hear from our schoolers is Islam complete civilization that answers all human needs? If it is then our Ulima must work and get the answers from Quran and the Sunnah.

I want to thank whole heartedly and pray Allah to protect him wherever he is Dr. Ebrahim Afsah, who changed partially my thinking towards Muslim ulima, Islam in general.

By Anirudh B

Jan 26, 2017

Truly excellent course content that really serves as an excellent entry for people new to this field.

My one crib is with the testing methods employed in the course. The quizzes were far too easy and the peer review system does not really give comprehensive feedback. I understand that grading is a huge problem for online education, and I wont claim to have the answers to this, but this really needs to be fixed to help the students learn more.

By Afaque R A

Mar 6, 2018

An absolute masterpiece. Excellent and a very thorough analysis. Very high quality, informative course which might have changed my personal preference in terms of pursuing a doctorate in Law / Islamic Law. Simply, respect and more respect for the Instructor for his oustanding scholarship, especially, for such a controversial and a sensitive subject. But sometimes, what needs to said, just needs to be said without sugar coating!

By Hakan H

Mar 29, 2020

Taking CSMW is like watching an addictive Netflix series: you cannot let go. The teacher, the content, the delivery, the readings, comments of other students are all exceptional. A better future of the region can and will be built, I am sure. It will mean a better future for Humanity. Whether you are from the region or not, you will benefit from a better understanding of how the past has played its role to shape the present.

By Alan M D

Mar 15, 2021

I absolutely loved this class. It made me think, it made me evaluate everything I already knew in light of the new things I was learning and be able to articulate things more precisely and accurately about the Muslim Wolrd. I learned more than I ever expected. Prof. Afsah was an excellent instructor who never allowed me to accept the status quo but to research for myself taking into account the biases I may have.

By elizabeth e

Sep 19, 2016

I felt this course was fantastic - and it is my opinion that the course should be a requirement for all members of the US Senate and House of Representatives - as they might make less dumb decisions when pedalling democracy in Muslim countries. And I took the course because I felt I could learn a lot. And I did. Thanks to the University, Dr Afsah and Dr Afsah's team for a very pertinent and well done course.

By Iva V

Sep 7, 2016

The course is absolutely fantastic. The instructor and the team are well read, approaching topics from a variety of perspectives. The course uses all kinds of texts and materials. If you are into public law, history and social science, this will be great for you. Even if you are a reasonably advanced student, you will learn a lot, and if you are not - it's easy enough for a beginner to understand. Well done.

By Abraham L

May 30, 2020

A massive and comprehensive travel through the islamic countries of the world. It has been hard to follow sometimes, but I found myself learning a lot; a useful and rich soil from which continue to grow. I highly recommend this course. Mr. Afsah is a nice teacher, showing the challenges both researchers and political actors, killing both essentialism that constricts the human flourishments.

By Thomas R

Jun 7, 2020

I really enjoyed taking this class, and I highly appreciate the instructor's approach. Mr. Afsah is obviously very well-informed but never failed to urge participants to question and reflect upon what was being heard and read. I'm also very thankful for the reading suggestions, and I am now looking forward to reading and learning further beyond the scope of this class. Thank you!

By Si-Maan W

Dec 27, 2016

This is an outstanding piece of intellectual works that has opened my mind to understand Muslim's world systematically, removed my misconception and enabled me to connect with Muslim in greater openness and love. This is enlightening not only to Muslim worldview, but is relevant to every worldview that in process to harmonize the rationality and reality for better living.

By Alejandro A S L

Jul 30, 2019

It's been a magnific journey through a very interesting region, in which I have come to better understand the underlying dynamics of the Muslim society. I want to thank wholeheartedly Ebrahim Afsah and his team for their endeavours and their work, I truly appreciate them. Ebrahim and team, you can be proud of your work, a total success. Many, many thanks!!

By Andreas U

Dec 13, 2015

I recommend this course to anyone interested in the historic background of the current situation in the Middle East. The course gave me an enlightening insight into the origins of many problems in this troubled region. Instead of merely describing historic facts Dr Afsah systematically analyses the historic and political structure of the Middle East.

By Temur D

Jan 22, 2016

One of the best self-paced courses I've taken in a while. I would highly recommend to everyone interested in the history of Muslim countries. The course looks not only at the constitutional aspects of development of the Muslim countries, but to their development on the whole! Sign up and prepare yourself for a long, but a very interesting journey!!!

By Yohny A B P

Nov 18, 2020

Muy buen curso, no tan solo por sus conocimientos entregados en relación al mundo del islam, también porque esos problemas o situaciones se repiten en otros lados del mundo, con diferentes actores, esto no permite hacer un análisis mas cercano al correcto. Muchos temas abordados despertaron mi interés y creo que profundizare en ellos, gracias.

By Richard D

Aug 2, 2017

Really excellent course that has opened my eyes to the Muslim world in a way I couldn't have imagined. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who has any interest at all in understanding this very important area. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to learn provided by the Professor and his team plus of course Coursera.

By Gunhild J

Jun 20, 2016

Very interesting and thought-provoking course! I would like to do it again (took the course a couple years ago) and wonder whether it has been updated to include events in the last couple years? So much happens! I would recommend this course to anyone wanting to get an overview and some understanding of the Muslim world as it is today.

By Marjet B

Feb 22, 2016

Understandibly a controversial course, but one that shows some much needed insight in the situations of many different countries with the common denominator of the muslim faith. I respect professor Ebrahim Afsah very much for his great intellect and also bravery, for this must not be easy. I am still enjoying the course very much.

By Anne T

Dec 7, 2015

Best course I have ever studied...important information well presented for our world in 2015. It's nice to be able to contribute a balanced opinion to some of the lop-sided dialogues going on around me at the moment. Hopefully enough of us can do this to bring about peaceful change. This is my second attempt at this course.

By Mary E

Jun 29, 2021

  Very informative course on the history of the Muslim world.  Dr. Afsah presents the material in a a concise format.  Definitely in the top 5 history courses I've taken throughout the years. Highly recommend for those who want a better understanding of the complicated political & social environment of the Islamic world.