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The George Washington University

Publication Date

Fall 2016

Program Name

Jordan: Modernization and Social Change

Abstract

After witnessing years of coups, war, and overall civil unrest in the Middle East, it comes as no surprise that there are many competing explanations for why this is. Much to the disbelief of the researcher, the average American’s theory for this was that the heavy influence of Islamic teachings in lawmaking prevented the successful implementation of democratic processes and overall peace in the region. However, Jordan appears to have evaded all forms of chaos, and remain peaceful despite also being a Muslim country. Why? Has Jordan escaped turmoil because unlike its neighbors it does not use Islam in its policies, despite being around 95% Muslim?

This research project is aimed at delving deeper into the role Islam has played in keeping Jordan safe, if any at all. In order to fully do this, the researcher broke national security down into three main areas: diplomacy, military, and economy. After doing this, the researcher conducted both interviews and questionnaires amongst prominent professionals and university students, respectively, to analyze Islam’s influence on these three areas. By the end of the research, the researcher concluded that Islamic teachings have a very insignificant part in policymaking and therefore has little influence in national security, perpetuating the idea that secularism may be the key to peace and security in the region. However, an increase in Islam’s use would not necessarily be detrimental to the nation, or its security.

Disciplines

Islamic Studies | Near and Middle Eastern Studies | Other Political Science | Other Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Other Sociology

 

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