Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Hicham Bou Nassif


This thesis explores the history and impact of religion in Middle Eastern politics. By analyzing historical and contemporary examples of non-secular governments and forces, this project examines both the causes and effects of non-secularism in the Middle East, most commonly in the form of Political Islam. Political Islam has been a prevalent force in the region for centuries, from Shia empowerment in the Levant, to religious organization and extremism, to Islamic theocracies such as Saudi Arabia. Although the reasons for this widespread non-secularism are tenfold, this paper will focus on three overarching factors: Islam’s inherent non-secular nature, the ongoing instability and conflict in the region, and polarizing hatred of Western liberal ideals. Through this analysis, this project will contend that the intersection of Mosque and State is rampant throughout the Middle East and has had detrimental effects on human rights development and advancement in the region.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.