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Qur’an and Qital. The violence against the Other in a historical critical deradicalizing perspective.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DerRadIslam (Qur’an and Qital. The violence against the Other in a historical critical deradicalizing perspective.)

Période du rapport: 2017-06-01 au 2019-05-31

Violence in its religious premise as well as its adoption in Islam, has become a normal praxis both in reference to a sharp increase in internal conflict: not only between Sunni and Shi’a, but among Muslims who support different radical points of view in relation to other religions.
This topic could be considered very popular; however, its historical and religious focus on the link between the Islamic revelation and the violence against non-Muslims is limited and usually not linked to a historical-critical understanding, in particular concerning the early evolution of the conceptualization of the ""just war"" which not authomatically became ""holy"" as related to a concept of sanctity that was actually absent in the first centuries of Islamic History.

Part of Islamic-Western (Orientalist) Narrative today is still convinced, for example, that we can already talk of Islam after the Prophet’s death in 632, and that the early Arab conquering campaigns were Islamic (7th centuries) as well as founded on an already existing conceptualization of the Islamic Just War through the existence of Jihad in the early version of the Qur'an.

This narrative was easily adopted during Colonialism as to frame a logo as “Global Jihadism” through the exploitation of religious revanchism framed by Wahhabism but also the thought of authors as S. Qutb (d.1966) and Abul Ala al-Maududi (d. 1979): the forerunners of the contemporary reconceptualization of Jihad.

Never so far from the historical reality of late antiquity.

Objectives of social impact:

- To establish an inter-disciplinary methodological approach in reconsidering “religious violence” in Early Islamic History, Qur’anic Studies and its contemporary re-conceptualization, in particular in relation to colonial and post-colonial Middle Eastern History.
- To design a deradicalization praxis, based on a concrete historical- religious analysis that can reach 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generations of European – Muslims through the impact that this work will produce on social actors: teachers, professors, social workers, prison staff, chaplains etc.

Overview of the action:

1. The Verses on war in the Qur’an and Early Islamic History. Can the concept of Islamic Holy war exist before the canonization of the Islamic revelation?
2. Which was the concrete early conceptualization of Jihad with Islamic history? Which was the impact of an early Christian canonization of the Just war and its influence in early Islam?
3. Stressing religious violence from an Orientalist to an Occidentalist (Baruma-Margalit, 2004) perspective in the contemporary age. Is the Islamic supremacy theoretical approach rooted in Western supremacism more than in an Islamic one?"
In respecting the Gantt chart structure, I will only partially summarize all the activities, publications, dissemination, outrech actions in the following section:

Deliverables 1-5: All the first deliverables have been submitted and some of them have been already published:

The deliverables planned (7) were less in number than those concretely realized (8-9). It depends if you will consider the article published in OLMS edited volume a different deliverable from the same book.
Deliverable 7: Monographic work in writing
Deliverable 8: the ERC Consolidator Grant will be elaborated in the following years and not immediately.

Dissemination section:
• International Conferences attended:

The planned Conferences (5) were less than those concretely attended as speaker (7), one of this organized within the Host Institution.

• Workshop in the Host Institution (ICS): 2

• Seminars in the Host Institution (ICS) as Academic activity (Unav), Academic Outreach activities.

Seminars, workshops and other Academic activities in Spain as abroad (11) exceeded the number of the original plan (W+S=7).

Public Engagement as extra-Academic activities (Outreach):

The planned Extra-Academic activities were 8 and the same number has been realized.

Main result achieved:

1. An increasing academic production able to consider past and present perspectives in dialogue: in other words, to adopt a historical-religious analytical methodology in the clear tentative to update as to limit contemporary flatness.
2. A balanced level of Academic and not-Academic activities has been reached encouraging a pedagogical understanding of a complex interdisciplinary topic.
3. An analytical perspective in working on inter-connected topics in a hugely open methodology with the possibility to increase contacts and academic collaboration with different institutes and stakeholders.
"I elaborate the expected results as directly linked with the three main parts in which the ongoing monographic work (the final outcome of this MSCA) is under elaboration.

1. The main proto-Islamic historical and Quranic findings are deeply related with the Abrahamic cultural and religious milieu of near east in the late Ancient age.
This assuption is evidently linked with the first attempt to declare the concept of ""just war"" and ""holy war"" in relation to the framing within Islam of a just warrior with a solid ethical and moral background. The methodological analysis reflects that every religion need time to reach a religious understanding that can play a significant role in a society. Thus, if we can consider a first attempt to develop the figure of a just warrior, 150 years after the death of Muhammad (632 AD), we need to attend a longer period of time to talk about a concept of war holiness in Islam.

2. The Kitāb al-jihād of Ibn-Al-Mubarak reflects the inner spiritual effort of an ascetic warrior in a period of his life in which he fights against the enemy on the borders of Dar al-Islam, the Byzantine empire in northern Syria. It presents a more ascetic and mystical approach, and reflects the early canonization of the ""just war"" in Islam. The same type of approach is also present in the Quran: some verses speak of a much more active and defensive warlike activity. In the majority of the Revelation's verses the term adopted is Qital, which means struggle, but also killing, the meaning of Jihad, which can be spiritual and military at the same time, has been hermeneutically analyzed in the text itself. Although the Qital is very present in the last suras - the chapters of the Qur'an - in relation to its historical chronology, Jihad appears only 35-37 times in the Qur'an, and only in a small part of them does it have an authentic warlike meaning.

3. The third part, which coincides with the conclusions, is majorly linked with a contemporary analysis and its tentative to actualize the above analysis on the ongoing debate on the topic. The moral and ethical warlike basement of the Islamic ""just-holy war"" is completely disappeared, leaving space to a new narrative of religious suprematism that is an inner western innovative narrative within a post-colonial spectrum. The contemporary violence as re-elaborated within Islam in the last 50 years, differently from the common adagio attributed to the Qur'an, the religious traditions as authors as Ibn Taymiyya, al-Qurtubi etc. is based on the western nihilism and supremacist ideology of a new form of religious Nationalism as an updated idea of warlike praxis based on religious ideological perspectives.
Lecture, University of Bamber, december 2017
Extra-Academic activity in Pamplona, E
ICS, Unav International Workshop, October 2017
OLMS volume, 2018
Sadler Seminer at the Univerity of Leeds, Uk
ICS, Unav Conference, December 2018