A Clash of Civilizations
Islam, Middle Eastern Sterotypes, and Their Ramifications
Al-Qaeda and radical Islam do exist, but claims of a “clash of civilizations” and generalized depictions of Islam are wildly inaccurate. Unfortunately, they often are presented as fact in an increasingly politicized media…
Many link Islam to the Middle East, where it originated, but the vast majority of the world’s Muslims live in Asia, stretching east from Afghanistan and Pakistan. The largest Muslim country is Indonesia, and at least 100 million Muslims live in India, where they constitute only 10 percent of the population. Still, that 10 percent minority is more than the population of any Middle Eastern country. Egypt and Iran are estimated to have 70 million people each.
What about Islam and monotheism?
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam constitute the world’s three monotheistic religions. All believe in one God — the same one. Christians and Muslims believe their God is the one God that created the world in Genesis and gave revelations to the Jewish prophets. Allah is the Arabic word for the Judeo-Christian God.
succeeded both it and Judaism. Islam, while accepting Judaism and Christianity as religions created by God, dismisses arguments that either Judaism or Christianity was the perfect, final revelation. Islam believes it is.
Given such attitudes, can we compare these religions in any way beyond their common monotheistic beliefs?
Judaism and Islam have much more in common with each other than either does with any form of Christianity. Both deny the divinity of Jesus. Both stress the authority of divine law revealed to the people selected to receive it by God, and then written down in the Torah or the Quran.
Cont’d on page 2
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