ps121lec5islam

ps121lec5islam - 1 PS 121 Lecture 5 The Islamic Factor:...

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Unformatted text preview: 1 PS 121 Lecture 5 The Islamic Factor: Religion and Politics in the Middle East 1. Islam Today 2. Islam and Modern Controversy 3. Basic Tenets and Terms 4. Origins 5. The Quran and Modern Scholarship 6. Mohammad as Prophet, Politician, and General 7. The Spread of Islam and with it, Contention 8. Islam, Judaism, and Christianity 2 9. Wahhabism 10. Attitudes Toward Authority 11. Islam and the Status of Women 12. Al-Banna, Qutb, and Islamism 13. Islam and Democracy: the Big Question for the Future 14. The Upshot 1. Islam Today 3 Muslims are also known as Moslems, Musulmen or Mohammedans. The faith has grown in adherents and spread over 1400 years. Its adherents now number between 1 billion and 1.3 billion, a number second only to that of Christianity, accounting for a fifth or sixth of the entire world population. There are about six Muslims for every ten Christians, counting all the Christian denominations as one. Muslims outnumber Hindus by 400 million. About 250 million Muslims roughly twenty percent are Arabs. Although the religion originated in the Arabian Peninsula it has spread around the world and has adherents of many other ethnicities. The largest Muslim state is Indonesia, which is non- Arab. The four countries with the largest Muslim population are Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India. India, even though it is primarily composed of Hindus, has over 140 million Muslims. There are also many Muslims in the states of the former Soviet UnionKazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kirghizstan and Azerbaijan--and in Africa. Muslims exist in strength in a total of 75 countries stretching on a thick band across the globe for 11,000 miles all the way east to China. In forty of these they are the dominant group. But the Middle East remains the heartland of the faith. All worshippers bow toward Mecca when they pray. The two holiest cities for Muslims are located in the Arabian Peninsula. They are Mecca and Medina. Jerusalem is the third; for Shiites Najaf and Karbala in Iraq. Islam includes some seventy different sects, notably the Sunnites and the Shiites. One of the biggest differences is that the Sunnites accept the succession of leadership after the death of Muhammed through a succession of caliphs or deputies of the prophet. The Shiites believe that religious leadership belonged to Muhammed and his descendants and to them alone. They use the term imam to describe the religious leader descended from the prophet. The term imam for Shiites means a truly outstanding leader, a manifestation of the divine will, free of sin, infallible, more than a pope, a superhuman figure. Various groups of Shiites believe there were either 5 or 7 or 12 imams, and that the last of them went into hiding. The twelvers believe that the hidden imam will return as a kind of savior, a Mahdi. Until he returns, scholars are obligated to collect and interpret the teachings of the eleven imams. The Shiites are considered the most numerous and most important of the dissident sects. But they are subdivided into several groups, the most numerous important of the dissident sects....
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This note was uploaded on 04/16/2008 for the course POLS 121 taught by Professor Lackoff during the Winter '08 term at UCSD.

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ps121lec5islam - 1 PS 121 Lecture 5 The Islamic Factor:...

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