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John F. Kennedy School of Government - Harvard University

John F. Kennedy School of Government Harvard University

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Islamic Bomb Forensics


Islamic Bomb Forensics

Series: Project on Managing the Atom Seminar Series
Open to the Public - Belfer Center Library, Littauer-369
October 9, 2013
10:00-11:30 a.m.

Speaker: Ariane Tabatabai, Stanton Nuclear Security Predoctoral Fellow

Related Projects: Managing the Atom, International Security, Environment and Natural Resources, Science, Technology, and Public Policy


The Iranian nuclear program and the challenge posed to nuclear security by non-state terrorist groups, such as Al-Qaeda, acquiring such weapons have generated substantial debate. While these two issues are poles apart, they have a common denominator: the use of the Islamic legal discourse to justify their respective leaderships’ positions on the matter. Indeed, while the former presents Sharia law as a limiting factor, prohibiting nuclear weapons, the second has long justified its pursuit of a nuclear capability through the Islamic faith. A third actor, Pakistan, has not taken a stance on the legal debate, yet it became the first Muslim state to develop a nuclear arsenal, securing funding for its program by depicting it as the ‘Islamic bomb.’

Does Islam in fact govern the production, possession, and use of nuclear weapons, by prohibiting, tolerating, or rather encouraging the acquisition of such weapons? This seminar will identify and assess the potential strategic implications of this legal outcome, including the impact of the religious discourse on regional stability and national and international security.

Coffee and tea provided. Please join us - Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.


MTA Program Assistant
Project on Managing the Atom 79 John F. Kennedy St, Mailbox 134 Cambridge, MA 02138
Harvard Kennedy School
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Phone: 617-495-4219
Fax: 617-495-0606