Iran - 3/23/2010 THEMUSLIMWORLD ANDIRAN...

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3/23/2010 1 AND IRAN THE “MUSLIM WORLD” Why define the “Muslim World” by religion? We don’t’ call the parts of the world that are heavily Christian the “Christian World.” “The Muslim World” y Muslims are, on average, relatively more “FUNDAMENTALIST” than other religious groups. y Fundamentalism—strict adherence to a set of basic religious principles y Fundamentalists tend to believe that these principles should be central to all aspects of our lives and societies, including politics y Muslim fundamentalists are little different from Christian fundamentalists y But a smaller percentage of Christians are fundamentalist—Christian societies today are more SECULAR
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3/23/2010 2 Development of the “Muslim World” y BIRTH OF ISLAM–7 th Century A.D. y 570 – Muhammad born in Mecca (in what is now Saudi Arabia) y 610 – Muhammad begins receiving and preaching revelations from God y Muhammad is not the only Islamic prophet–Moses and Jesus are as well. Muhammad is the most recent and important prophet for Muslims – Muhammad restored the purity of the messages of the earlier prophets y 620s–Muhammad becomes religious AND political leader of Medina – fusion of religious and political power y But Moses and Jesus were both political leaders as well. Development of the Muslim World Islam is much like other Western religions (Christianity, Judaism): y Monotheistic y Messianic y Focus on the afterlife and being “saved” All western, monotheistic religions were born as liberation movements for oppressed and poor people y The “one God” concept central to such movements y For Arabs, Islam was unifying, rallying point for resistance against the Byzantine Empire y Islam spreads rapidly throughout the region Byzantine Empire around 600 A.D. Caliphate y Break between Sunnis and Shi’ahs – like break between Protestants and Catholics y Shi’ahs – believe the religion should be led by descendants of Mohammad–the first Imam should have been Ali y But the leadership struggle after Mohammad’s death resulted in Abu Bakr becoming the Imam, reflects victory of Sunnis y The Caliphate was a Sunni Muslim empire y By 750, stretches across the Arab world, through northern Africa, and Southern Europe
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3/23/2010 3 Caliphate in 750 A.D. Caliphate y Center of cultural and intellectual life by 8 th Century: y Universities, libraries, architecture, music, mathematics science art scholarship mathematics, science, art, scholarship y Caliphate weakened during the Crusades in the early 2 nd millennium y New Islamic empires arise: Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires Ottoman Empire 1683 Safavid Empire in the 17 th Century
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3/23/2010 4 Mughal Empire, 17 th Century Islam’s Historical Relationship with Politics y Islam – does not separate what should be rendered to Caeser and what should be rendered to God. y
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Iran - 3/23/2010 THEMUSLIMWORLD ANDIRAN...

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