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Encyclopedia > Islamic World

The Islamic world is the world-wide community of those who identify with Islam, known as Muslims, and who number approximately one-and-a-half billion people. Many Muslims not only live in, but also have an official status in the following regions: Islām is described as a dīn, meaning way of life and/or guidance. Six articles of belief There are six basic beliefs shared by all Muslims: 1. ... A Muslim (Arabic: مسلم) (sometimes also pronounced Moslem) is an adherent of Islam. ...

The countries of Southwest Asia, and many in Northern Africa are considered part of the Middle East. Download high resolution version (1357x628, 87 KB)Map of OIC member states File links The following pages link to this file: Organization of the Islamic Conference List of Muslim Countries ... Download high resolution version (1357x628, 87 KB)Map of OIC member states File links The following pages link to this file: Organization of the Islamic Conference List of Muslim Countries ... The flag of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC; Arabic: منظمة المؤتمر الإسلامي) (French: Organisation de la Conference Islamique) is an inter-governmental organization with a Permanent Delegation to the United Nations. ... Southwest Asia (PDF) Southwest Asia (often called the Middle East) is the southwestern part of Asia. ... The Arabs ((Arabic: عرب ʻarab) are a large ethnic group widespread in the Middle East and North Africa, originating in the Arabian Peninsula of southwest Asia. ... Africa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... The Balkans is the historic and geographic name used to describe a region of south-eastern Europe. ... Pre-1989 division between the West (grey) and Eastern Bloc (orange) superimposed on current national boundaries: Russia (dark orange), other countries of the former USSR (medium orange) and other former communist regimes (light orange). ... The Crimea /kraɪˈmia/ is a peninsula and an autonomous republic of Ukraine on the northern coast of the Black Sea. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Composite satellite image of the Indian subcontinent Map of South Asia. ... Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ... A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ...


Also worthy of mention are provinces of Kurdistan, Kosovo and Chechnya, where Muslims are in the majority. For the Kurdistan Autonomous Region in Iraq, please see Kurdish Autonomous Region. ... Kosovo (Serbian: Косово и Метохија / Kosovo i Metohija , Albanian: Kosovë / Kosova) , in English most often called just Kosovo, is a province of Serbia. ... Capital Grozny Area - total - % water 78th - 15,500 km² - negligible Population - Total - Density 49th - est. ...


Some definitions would also include the sizable Muslim minorities in:

Like Christians or Buddhists, there is no single Muslim race; the world's Muslims are connected only by the common heritage of a religion. For other uses, see United States (disambiguation) and US (disambiguation). ... As a noun, Christian is an appellation and moniker deriving from the appellation Christ, which many people associate exclusively with Jesus of Nazareth. ... A replica of an ancient statue found among the ruins of a temple at Sarnath Buddhism is a philosophy based on the teachings of the Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, a prince of the Shakyas, whose lifetime is traditionally given as 566 to 486 BCE. It had subsequently been accepted by...


When believers in Islam cooperate as Muslims, they are known as the "ummah", which means "all of the believers". The faith emphasizes unity and defense of fellow Muslims, so it should be common for Muslim nations to cooperate; however, Muslim politics, particularly Arab politics, has tended to divide rather than unite the Muslim world. Ummah (أمة) is an Arabic word that means community or nation. ...

Contents


Demographics

One quarter of the world population share Islam as an ethical tradition. Muslims are the majority in 52 nations. They speak about 60 languages and come from diverse ethnic backgrounds. The World in plate carrée projection The World In English, world is rooted in a compound of the obsolete words were, man, and eld, age; thus, its oldest meaning is age or life of man. Its primary modern meaning is the planet Earth, especially when capitalized: the World. ... Ethics is a branch of philosophy dealing with right and wrong in human behaviour. ...

  • close to 1.5 billion in total

See: Islam by country Latin America consists of the countries of South America and some of North America (including Central America and some the islands of the Caribbean) whose inhabitants mostly speak Romance languages, although Native American languages are also spoken. ... Commonly, Central America is the region of North America located between the southern border of Mexico and the northwest border of Colombia, in South America. ... Western Europe is distinguished from Eastern Europe by differences of history and culture rather than by geography. ... The Balkans is the historic and geographic name used to describe a region of south-eastern Europe. ... Kosovo (Serbian: Косово и Метохија / Kosovo i Metohija , Albanian: Kosovë / Kosova) , in English most often called just Kosovo, is a province of Serbia. ... Official languages Macedonian¤ Capital Skopje President Branko Crvenkovski Prime Minister Vlado Bučkovski Area  â€“ Total  â€“ % water Ranked 147th  25,713 km²  1. ... Flag of the League of Arab States The Arab League or League of Arab States (Arabic: جامعة الدول العربية), is an organization of Arab states - compare Arab world. ... Shiʻa Islam (Arabic شيعى follower; English has traditionally used Shiite) makes up the second largest sect of believers in Islam, constituting about 30%–35% of all Muslim. ... A satellite composite image of Africa showing the ecological break between North and Sub-Saharan regions Sub-Saharan Africa, Africa south of the Sahara, is the term used to describe those countries of Africa that are not part of North Africa or some areas of West Africa. ... Shiʻa Islam (Arabic شيعى follower; English has traditionally used Shiite) makes up the second largest sect of believers in Islam, constituting about 30%–35% of all Muslim. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... In its final decades of its existence, the Soviet Union consisted of 15 Soviet Socialist Republics (SSR), often called simply Soviet republics. ... Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ... Distribution of Islam Important note: There is currently no exact mechanism in place anywhere around the world for counting religious denomination membership with precision. ...


History

Islam spread rapidly into the regions where Muslims are now a majority, until 631 CE - see caliph for the politics that were partially to cease the rapid expansion of Islam at about this time. Events Battle of Wogastisburg between Slavs led by Samo and Dagobert I, king of the Franks Births Deaths Categories: 631 ... This article is on the highest religious and/or temporal title, aspiring universal authority, in Islam; for lower, notably gubernatorial, uses of the Arabic title khalifa, see that article Caliph is the term or title for the Islamic leader of the Ummah, or community of Islam. ...


The spread of Islam was also due particularly to the powerful Ottoman Empire. Nations were conquered, and their inhabitants were given a choice to convert to Islam, or live as dhimmis, protected second class citizens practicing an officially accepted religion. This article needs copyediting (checking for proper English spelling, grammar, usage, tone, style, and voice). ... A Dhimmi, or Zimmi (Arabic ذمّي), as defined in classical Islamic legal and political literature, is a person living in a Muslim state who is a member of an officially tolerated non-Islamic religion. ... The People of the Book is a term in Islam for peoples who, according to the Quran, have received divine scriptures —referring to the Taurat (the Torah) and Injeel (the New Testament), as well as the Quran. ...


The Ottoman Empire came to an end in 1918 when Turkey lost control of the bulk of the Arab World, which it had ruled for centuries and in which it had suppressed most of the traditional norms of Islam. The United Kingdom and the United States supported Arab independence, but France insisted on retaining control of Lebanon and ultimately Syria. This, plus the status of Kuwait and Palestine, and the later partition of India, remain major sources of global tension to this day. Islam allows oppressed Muslims to practice Jihad, struggle against aggressors. This article needs copyediting (checking for proper English spelling, grammar, usage, tone, style, and voice). ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... The Arab world The Arab world consists of twenty-three countries stretching from Western Sahara and Mauritania in the west to Oman in the east. ... Map of the British Mandate of Palestine. ... Britains holdings on the Indian subcontinent were granted independence in 1947 and 1948, becoming four new independent states: India, Burma (now Myanmar), Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), and Pakistan (including East Pakistan, modern-day Bangladesh). ... Jihad (Arabic: jihād) is an Islamic term, from the Arabic root jhd (to exert utmost effort, to strive, struggle), which connotes a wide range of meanings: anything from an inward spiritual struggle to attain perfect faith to a political or military struggle to further the Islamic cause. ...


The 20th century also saw a series of defeats for some Islamist movements, Iran and the now-defunct Taliban regime in Afghanistan being notable exceptions. Elsewhere the rule has been for military rulers, e.g. Suharto, Moammar Qaddafi, Zia al-Haq, Saddam Hussein, to cynically exploit Islamic imagery and language without following the rules, sometimes implementing weak but spectacular forms of sharia in rural areas to appease peasant supporters. (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the... Islamism is a political ideology derived from the conservative religious views of Muslim fundamentalism. ... Flag flown by the Taliban. ... General Haji Mohamed Soeharto (commonly spelled Suharto in the English-speaking world) (born June 8, 1921) was an Indonesian leader and military strongman. ... Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi Muammar Abu Minyar al-Qaddafi 1 (Arabic: معمر القذافي Mu`ammar al-Qadhdhāfī) (born 1942), leader of Libya since 1970 and a controversial Arab statesman. ... General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (August 12, 1924–August 17, 1988) ruled Pakistan from 1977 to 1988. ... Saddam Hussein when he was the President of Iraq. ... Sharia (Arabic: ; also SharÄ«ah, Sharia, Shariah or Syariah) is the Arabic word for Islamic law, also known as the Law of Allah. ...


In Turkey, Pakistan, Algeria and other nations with Islamist parties, these tend to have either no power or they substantially moderate these policies when they participate in government (as in Turkey in 2003 where the government approved a U.S. plan to invade Iraq via Turkey but was over-ruled by the parliament after public pressure from the 94% of Turks opposed to an invasion). Nationalism plays more of a role in decisions to go to war than religious similarities or differences. Islamism is a political ideology derived from the conservative religious views of Muslim fundamentalism. ... 2003 (MMIII) is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The 2003 Invasion of Iraq began on March 20 comprising United States and United Kingdom forces (98%), and several other nations. ...

See also: History of Islam

The History of Islam involves the history of the Islamic faith as a religion and as a social institution. ...

Important organizations

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries includes many nations that are also in the Arab League. Although most oil sources on Earth are not in nations with Muslim majorities, the fully developed exporting regions are. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is made up of Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela; since 1965, its international headquarters have been in Vienna, Austria. ... Flag of the League of Arab States The Arab League or League of Arab States (Arabic: جامعة الدول العربية), is an organization of Arab states - compare Arab world. ... Earth, also known as Terra, and (mostly in the 19th century) Tellus, is the third-closest planet to the Sun. ...


A politically motivated oil embargo in 1974 (to support Egypt and Syria in their 1973 war against Israel) had drastic economic and political consequences in the United States and Europe. Although such a move would have less impact today, it demonstrates the power of the Islamic world acting in concert, and the key role of religion and ethnicity in the politics of oil regions, with which the Islamic world intersects. At the height of the crisis in the United States, drivers of vehicles with odd numbered license plates were allowed to purchase gasoline only on odd-numbered days of the month, while drivers with even-numbers were limited to even-numbered days. ... 1974 (MCMLXXIV) is a common year starting on Tuesday (click on link for calendar). ...


As oil sources in Indonesia, Central Asia and southern regions of Russia become more developed, oil politics may be less dependent on the Arab World but more dependent on the Islamic World as a whole. Activities of Islamists seem destined to play a larger role, as they seek unified policies and support for unified fronts against non-Muslim peoples who control Muslim oil resources. The Arab world The Arab world consists of twenty-three countries stretching from Western Sahara and Mauritania in the west to Oman in the east. ... Dearest Linda and Jack. ... Islamism is a political ideology derived from the conservative religious views of Muslim fundamentalism. ...


The Organization of the Islamic Conference formed in 1969 lets the Muslim nations work as a group. Russia joined in 2003. The flag of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC; Arabic: منظمة المؤتمر الإسلامي) (French: Organisation de la Conference Islamique) is an inter-governmental organization with a Permanent Delegation to the United Nations. ... 1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday For other uses, see Number 1969. ... 2003 (MMIII) is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Main denominations of Islam

The two main denominations of Islam are the Sunni and Shia sects. The difference between them is primarily in terms of how the life of the ummah ("faithful") should be governed, and the role of the imam. Sunni Islam (Arabic سنّة) is the largest denomination of Islam. ... Shiʻa Islam (Arabic شيعى follower; English has traditionally used Shiite) makes up the second largest sect of believers in Islam, constituting about 30%–35% of all Muslim. ... Imam (Arabic: إمام) is an Arabic word meaning Leader. The ruler of a country might be called the Imam, for example. ...


The overwhelming majority of Muslims in the world are Sunni. Sunni Islam (Arabic سنّة) is the largest denomination of Islam. ...


The Shi'a are a majority in Iraq (60%) and in Iran (89%). A more strictly traditional Shia regime maintains power in Iran, although a nominally Sunni minority held political power in Iraq up until the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Shia Islam ( Arabic شيعى follower; English has traditionally used Shiite or Shiite) is the second largest Islamic denomination; some 20-25% of all Muslims are said to follow a Shia tradition. ... The 2003 Invasion of Iraq began on March 20 comprising United States and United Kingdom forces (98%), and several other nations. ...


There are other differences in Muslims practice their faith, notably there's the Islamists who are fundamentalist. Islamism is a political ideology derived from the conservative religious views of Muslim fundamentalism. ... Fundamentalism is a movement to maintain strict adherence to founding principles. ...


Islam in law and ethics

In some nations, Muslim ethnic groups enjoy considerable autonomy. Autonomy is the condition of something that does not depend on anything else. ...


In some places, Muslims implement a form of Islamic law, called shariah in Arabic. The Islamic law exists in many variations, but the main forms are the five (four Sunni and one Shia) schools of jurisprudence (fiqh): Sharia (Arabic شريعة also Sharia, Shariah or Syariah) is traditional Islamic law. ... Sharia (Arabic شريعة also Sharia, Shariah or Syariah) is traditional Islamic law. ... Madhhab(مذهب) (Madhahib, pl) is an Islamic term that refers to a school of thought or religious jurisprudence (fiqh) within Sunni Islam. ... Islamic jurisprudence, (Arabic: Fiqh) (in Arabic and Persian: فقه) is made up of the rulings (Fatwa) of Muslim Islamic jurists (Ulema) to direct the lives of the Muslims. ...

All five are centuries old and many Muslims feel a new fiqh must be created for modern society. Islam has a method for doing this, al-urf and ijtihad are the words to describe this method, but they have not been used in a long time, and few people are trusted enough to use them to make new laws. This article appears to contradict itself. ... West Africa is the region of western Africa that is generally considered to include the countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte dIvoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. ... The Maliki madhab (Arabic مالكي) is one of the four schools of Fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam. ... North Africa is a region generally considered to include: Algeria Egypt Libya Mauritania Morocco Sudan Tunisia Western Sahara The Azores, Canary Islands, and Madeira are sometimes considered to be a part of North Africa. ... West Africa is the region of western Africa that is generally considered to include the countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte dIvoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. ... The Shafi`i madhab (Arabic: شافعي) is one of the four schools of fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam. ... Hambali is the nom de guerre of Indonesian terrorist Riduan Isamuddin. ... The Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula is a mainly desert peninsula in Southwest Asia at the junction of Africa and Asia and an important part of the greater Middle East. ... Twelvers or the Ithna Asharia are members of the group of Shias who believe in twelve Imams. ... Shiʻa Islam (Arabic شيعى follower; English has traditionally used Shiite) makes up the second largest sect of believers in Islam, constituting about 30%–35% of all Muslim. ... Islamic jurisprudence, (Arabic: Fiqh) (in Arabic and Persian: فقه) is made up of the rulings (Fatwa) of Muslim Islamic jurists (Ulema) to direct the lives of the Muslims. ... Society - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... In Islamic law (Sharia Arabic: شريعة), al-urf العرف is the custom of a given society, leading to change in the Egypt, marriage the Urfi way means to get married without offical papers issued by the state (Zawag Urfi:زواج عرفي). ... Ijtihad (Arabic اجتهاد) is a technical term of the Islamic law that describes the process of making a legal decision by independent interpretation of the sources of the law, the Quran and the Sunnah. ...


So, in most of the Muslim world, people are socially conservative.


Muslim women often dress extremely modestly, and many do so by choice. Thus, in some countries an interpretation of the Islamic law requires women to cover either just legs, shoulders and head or the whole body apart from the face. In strictest forms, the face as well must be covered leaving just a mesh to see through. These rules for dressing are one of the things that cause tension between the Western World and that of Muslims, concerning particularly Muslims living in western countries. This article needs a complete rewrite for the reasons listed on the talk page. ... The Western World The term Western world or the West can have multiple meanings depending on its context. ...


Islamic economics bans interest but in most Muslim countries Western banking is allowed. This is another issue that many Muslims have with the Western world. Islamic economics is economics in accordance with Islamic law. ... In finance, interest has three general definitions. ... For other uses, see Bank (disambiguation). ...


Islam in politics

Many people in Islamic countries also see Islam manifested politically as Islamism. In democratic countries there is usually at least one Islamic party. Political Islam is powerful in all Muslim-majority countries. Islamic parties in Turkey, Pakistan and Algeria have taken power. Many in these movements call themselves Islamists, which also sometimes describes more militant Islamic groups. The relationships between these groups and their views of democracy are complex. Islamism refers to a set of political ideologies derived from various religious views of Muslim fundamentalists, which hold that Islam is not only a religion, but also a political system that should govern the legal, economic and social imperatives of the state. ... An Islamic party are those political parties that promote Islam as a political movement by running for elections in a democracy - of which there are several in the Islamic world. ... An Islamic party are those political parties that promote Islam as a political movement by running for elections in a democracy - of which there are several in the Islamic world. ... Islamism is a political ideology derived from the conservative religious views of Muslim fundamentalism. ... Militant Islam is a contentious term, often used by Western political commentators to describe the ideologies of groups viewed as participating in Islamic terrorism. ...


Some of these groups practice terrorism. According to US President George W. Bush, they all have a single common agenda: Terrorism is the unconventional use of violence for political gain. ... George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the current President of the United States and former Governor of the State of Texas. ...


"The militants believe that controlling one country will rally the Muslim masses, enabling them to overthrow all moderate governments in the region, and establish a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia," Bush asserted in an October 2005 speech.


Conflicts with Israel and the US

Israel is very unpopular in the Muslim world, because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the way that the state of Israel came into being in 1948 which many Arabs thought was unfair. Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip are at the center of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ... 1948 (MCMXLVIII) is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Arabs ((Arabic: عرب ʻarab) are a large ethnic group widespread in the Middle East and North Africa, originating in the Arabian Peninsula of southwest Asia. ...


Some Muslims see this as a fight against Judaism or Jews, but not all. In Morocco for instance, the Islamists recently invited Jews to join the party. Jewish groups also cooperate with Arabs in the West Bank, where Neturei Karta (anti-Zionist orthodox Jewish) leader Rabbi Mosche Hirsch served as the Minister for Jewish Affairs in the Fatah before there was a Palestinian Authority. Like the Arabs, this small group of Jews thought the way Israel was created was not right. // Judaism is the religion of the Jewish people. ... Members of the Neturei Karta protesting against Zionism. ... The Fatah official emblem shows two fists holding rifles and a hand grenade superimposed on a map of the land they claim as Palestine (roughly, present-day Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip). ... The West Bank The Palestinian National Authority (PNA or PA) is a semi-autonomous state institution nominally governing the bulk of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (which it calls the Palestinian Territories). It was established as a part of Oslo accords between the PLO and Israel. ...


In 1979 there was a big shift in the way the Muslim world dealt with the rest of the world. In that year, Egypt made peace with Israel, Iran became an Islamic state after a revolution, and there was an invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union. A lot of things changed in that year. By 2001 the Soviet Union was gone, Jordan had also made peace with Israel, and on September 11, 2001 there were major attacks on the U.S. - which most people believe were made to drive the United States out of the Muslim world, especially Saudi Arabia. In many ways the events of 1979 led to the events of 2001. This page refers to the year 1979. ... A revolution is a relatively sudden, and absolutely drastic change (a complete turn-around). This may be a change in the social or political institutions over a relatively short period of time, or a major change in its culture or economy. ... A Soviet soldier on guard in Afghanistan in 1988. ... 2001: A Space Odyssey. ... The World Trade Center on fire The September 11, 2001 attacks were a series of coordinated terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001. ...


The 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and 2003 invasion of Iraq are called part of a "War on Terrorism" by the United States. Many or most Muslims see it as a War on Islam. After the invasion, the Islamic parties won more seats, and a majority of Muslims polled in many nations expressed support for Osama bin Laden and said he would "do the right thing". Olivier Roy is a French scholar who thinks that this does not express support for Al Qaeda or militant Islam but opposing colonialism and what many Muslims call racism - favourable treatment for Jews especially those living in West Bank settlements, many of whom have American or British passport, and which the United Nations says have no right to live there. The United States invasion of Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom) occurred in October 2001, in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S., marking the beginning of its War on Terrorism campaign. ... The 2003 Invasion of Iraq began on March 20 comprising United States and United Kingdom forces (98%), and several other nations. ... For the album by NOFX, see War on Errorism. ... The Islamic world is the world-wide community of all believers in Islam, who are known as Muslims, and who number approximately one-and-a-half billion people. ... An Islamic party are those political parties that promote Islam as a political movement by running for elections in a democracy - of which there are several in the Islamic world. ... Osama bin Laden in a photo from the 1990s Usāmah bin Muhammad bin `Awad bin Lādin (born March 10, 1957) (Arabic: ), commonly known as Osama bin Laden, or Usama bin Laden, (Arabic: ), is the founder of al-Qaeda. ... As of 2000, Dr. Olivier Roy was Research Director in the Humanities & Social Sciences sector of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris. ... Osama bin Laden, leader of al-Qaeda Ayman al-Zawahiri al-Qaeda (Arabic: , al-Qā‘idah; the foundation or the base), a subset of the International Front for Jihad against the Jews and Crusaders, is the name given to an international Islamic fundamentalist campaign comprised of independent and collaborative cells... Militant Islam is a contentious term, often used by Western political commentators to describe the ideologies of groups viewed as participating in Islamic terrorism. ... Bold textItalic text World map of colonialism at the end of the Second World War in 1945. ... An African-American man drinks out of the colored only water fountain at a racially segregated streetcar terminal in the United States in 1939. ... Israeli settlements are Jewish communities in areas under Israeli control as a result of the 1967 Six Day War. ... This law-related article does not cite its references or sources. ...


The situation is very complicated and there are many different views of it.


Growing polarization

In Pakistan, nominally a US ally, virulently anti-American Islamist won local elections in two out of four of the country's provinces and became in mid-2003 the third largest party in the national parliament, their best showing ever. For the first time, their support comes not just from the areas bordering Afghanistan, but even from urban areas.


In Kuwait, elections in July returned Islamic traditionalists and supporters of the royal family, while liberals suffered a severe defeat.


In Indonesia, the growth of various groups allied to those seemingly responsible for the Bali bombing most of which have been invisible, has been marked. It is expected that executions of perpetrators of that attack, which hit mostly citizens of Australia, will polarize that nation further.


Future

Some believe that the Islamic World is fated to democratize and replace constitutional monarchy and military dictatorship with representative democracy. G. E. Jansen in 1979, in his book "Militant Islam", proposed that Islamist movements were themselves the most likely path to democratization. A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchical government established under a constitutional system which acknowledges a hereditary or elected monarch as head of state. ... Augusto Pinochet (sitting) was an army general who led a military coup in Chile in 1973. ... Representative democracy is a form of democracy and theory of civics in which voters choose (in free, secret, multi-party elections) representatives to act in their interests, but not as their proxies—i. ... This page refers to the year 1979. ... Militant Islam is a contentious term, often used by Western political commentators to describe the ideologies of groups viewed as participating in Islamic terrorism. ... Islamism is a political ideology derived from the conservative religious views of Muslim fundamentalism. ...


Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia and Algeria may represent the examples of a movement towards democracy. They enjoy substantial local democracy and have active political life.


Many believe that the Islamic World is fated to come into deeper conflict with the western world. At least one Islamic nation, Pakistan, has developed nuclear weapons, and others, e.g. Iraq, have attempted it. Weapons of mass destruction are likely to become easier to construct given the modernizing economies of the Islamic World. The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 km (11 mi) above the hypocenter. ... Weapons of mass destruction (WMD) generally include nuclear, biological, chemical and, increasingly, radiological weapons. ...


See also

Distribution of Islam Important note: There is currently no exact mechanism in place anywhere around the world for counting religious denomination membership with precision. ... The following list consists of concepts that are derived from both Islam and Arab tradition, which are expressed as words in the Arabic language. ... The History of Islam involves the history of the Islamic faith as a religion and as a social institution. ... The Hajj or Haj is the Pilgrimage to Mecca (or, Makkah) and is the fifth of the Five Pillars of Islam. Every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so is obliged to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime. ... Majority Muslim countries This is a list of countries which have a majority of muslim people. ... The flag of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC; Arabic: منظمة المؤتمر الإسلامي) (French: Organisation de la Conference Islamique) is an inter-governmental organization with a Permanent Delegation to the United Nations. ...

External links

  • The Islamic World to 1600 an online tutorial at the University of Calgary, Canada.
  • MSNBC report citing Wesley Clark that the US planned to invade Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia, and Sudan - also his own views on Egypt, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia
  • Al-Jazeera report saying the same thing

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