Raja S. Tanas is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Whitworth University. He joined Whitworth's faculty in 1983 after completing his BA and MA in sociology at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, and Ph.D. in sociology at Michigan State University. Raja has carried out extensive research in the areas of Middle Eastern, Arab, and Islamic studies. He is listed in the 1998, 2000, and 2010 editions of Who's Who Among America's Teachers. Raja was recognized by his colleagues with the Burlington Northern Teaching Excellence Award in 1989 and with the Outstanding Faculty Service Award in 1997. Voted Most Influential Professor by the Class of 2010 and received Whitworth's Diversity Award from the Class of 2011.
The rise of ISIS/ISIL in Iraq, Syria, and throughout the Middle East that resulted in mass exodos of refugees into Europe and beyond cannot and ought not to be treated in isolation of the events that took place in the Middle East during the past 100 years. In his presentation, Dr. Tanas considers the rise of ISIS/ISIL as the latest in a series of Arab responses to the fragmentation of their once Ottoman-ruled homeland into self-governing states and continued foreign intervention in their domestic affairs.
Following the introduction of three overlapping maps that highlight the meaning of Arab, Muslim, and Middle Easterner, this presentation focuses on the factors that shaped the Middle East region since the demise of the Ottoman Empire in 1918 to present. These factors include the end of the Muslim Caliphate, the rise of the state system, the discovery of oil, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the resurgence of Islam. The presentation concludes with a discussion on the grievances that the Arabs have against the colonial powers, and the prospects for peace.
This presentation introduces Islam, the Muslim faith, and its followers. It covers the emergence of Islam beginning in the seventh century A.D. with focus on its basic beliefs, the pillars of faith, Prophet Muhammad, and the Quran. The presentation highlights the beautiful ninety-nine names of God, Jesus in the Quran, salvation in Islam, and the place for worship. Dr. Tanas concludes with a comparative analysis of the similarities and differences between Islam and Christianity using Christian terminology