ISL452 Islam Through Western Eyes (8)


This subject examines the major approaches, issues, controversies and differing perspectives in the study of Islam and Muslim society’s Western thought, scholarship and public opinion. It provides insight into the various classical and modern texts that discuss Islam “through Western eyes.” Students explore the complex historical, socio-political and ideological factors which impact the way Islam and Muslims are viewed in the West.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 1
DistanceUnited Theological College
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ISL452
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLCentre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the Western view of Islam, in particular the Australian context
  • be able to evaluate how Islam and Muslims are perceived in the West
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the medieval discourses developed about Islam and Muslim societies
  • be able to analyse critically colonisation of the Muslim world and its impact on Muslim societies
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of orientalism and its role and development to modern times
  • be able to demonstrate independent research, organisation, written and oral communication skills


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • The Western view of Islam
  • Mythology of the Muslims as the 'other'
  • Crusades and the medieval discourses on Islam
  • Islamic cutlural, scientific and political dominance
  • Colonisation and the Muslim world
  • Orientalism analysis pre and post Edward Said
  • Fear and fascination and the rise of the Orientalist discourse
  • Modernity, postmodernity and Islamic discourse
  • Alternative approaches in Islamic studies
  • Islam and sociology
  • Modern media and its role in perpetuating an image of Islam

Residential School

This subject contains a optional 2 day residential school. The purpose of the residential school is to provide an opportunity for exploration of the coursework covered and assessment of student learning. In addition to content review, this part of the course aims to facilitate an interactive session between the teaching academics, students and sections of the Islamic community.


The information contained in the 2017 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 12 August 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.