ISLAM Part 6 – Modern Islam

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In Part 1 of our “Islam” series we saw the rise of Prophet Mohammed’s “religious” movement from its roots as a group of highway robbers into a large scale mercenary army. At the conclusion of Mohammed’s life, the Muslim military had conquered the whole of the Arabian Peninsula (modern day Saudi Arabia). Our second installment showed that from Mohammed onward, Muslims continued to conquer the world around them. In fact, from A.D. 632 until 1924, Islam had a conquering empire in each generation. Muslims call their world wide empire a “Caliphate” and its leader is the Muslim “Caliph.” Continue reading “ISLAM Part 6 – Modern Islam”

ISLAM PART 5: CREATION OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL

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After Rome destroyed Israel in A.D. 70, the Jews wandered the world for nearly 2,000 years without a country to call their own. Many Jews traveled through Israel and settled throughout its borders (including Jerusalem), but they did not have a nation. It would take the Western world in the 20th century to help birth the State of Israel on May 14, 1948. During the long stretch of orphanage, the Jewish holy land was mainly in  the hands of the Muslim world. From A.D. 638 until the end of World War 1, Islamic Caliphates owned and ran the Jewish homeland. Continue reading “ISLAM PART 5: CREATION OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL”

Islam Part 3: The Crusades

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As the Muslim Caliphates expanded their territory across eastern Europe, northern Africa, Spain and many isles in the Mediterranean, the Christian world was seeing its territories fall, one after the other. The third Islamic caliphate, the Abbasid Caliphate (A.D. 750-1298), saw the Muslim Moors cross into Spain and conquer it.

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A turning point in western attitudes towards the east came in the year 1009, when the Fatimid caliph of Cairo, al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, had the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem destroyed. His successor permitted the Byzantine Empire to rebuild it under stringent circumstances, and pilgrimage was again permitted, but many stories began to be circulated in the West about the cruelty of Muslims toward Christian pilgrims; these rumors then played an important role in the development of the crusades later in the century. Continue reading “Islam Part 3: The Crusades”

Islam Series – Part 1: Origins

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Islam is the planet’s 2nd biggest religion, second only to Christianity. Problems between our Western Civilization and the Islamic movement are very relevant today. It is not simply a matter of historical interest. In our series we will learn about the geopolitical and theological aspects surrounding Islam. Where else could we begin than with the origins of the Muslim religion…

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Often, people associate Islam with people of Arab descent. Arabs are an ethnicity whereas Islam is a religious system. The only reason the two are seemingly intertwined is that the prophet Mohamed and the first several generations of Muslims were from the Arabian Peninsula (modern day Saudi Arabia). As Islam spread throughout northern Africa, Asia Minor and south east Asia, the ethnic variability of Islam has changed drastically. Most Muslim immigrants to Europe and North America are from the Middle East, therefore most Westerners’ perspective of Islam is that it is synonimous with Arab descent. Yet there was a large variety of Arab peoples for thousands of years prior to the appearance of Islam. Continue reading “Islam Series – Part 1: Origins”