The Islam religion is monotheist and was born in Arabic Peninsula the VII century, by created by the Prophet Mohammed. Islam means “submission to god”. According to the Koran, this religion is universal and the practice of the Islam is by free acceptation, there are no obligations.

    The Islamic population is estimated around a thousand millions people. The main ethnic groups are: Arabs (northern Africa and Middle East), Turkish, ottomans (some regions of the Old Soviet Union and Central Asia), Iranians, Afghans, Indo-Muslims (Pakistan, India and Bangladesh) South of Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines) and a small percentage of China. The Islam is the second largest religion in the world after the Christians. 

    In Muhammad times, the Arabic peninsula was inhabited by nomad Bedouins and Arabs. The Arabs’ religion was polytheist and idolize. Nonetheless there was a old monotheist tradition, which used to considered there was a supreme god.

    It was during the VII and VIII century when the expansion of this religion took place. Through the next two centuries were created the theological and legislative aspects of the orthodox Islam. The theology has nearly the same importance as the legal system.

    The Islam in the modern world

    After the Middle Ages the deadlock of the Islamic culture drove to a new tendency o religious reform. These new approaches were based on social and moral reforms. The first movement was called Wahhabi, the name comes from its founder Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, (XVIII). It soon became a fundamentalist movement with ramifications in the whole Muslim world. This movement wanted to purify the Islam from the non-Islamic influences. 

    Others Islamic reforms had been influenced by the occidental ideas. The most influenced figure was the Egyptian   Muhammad Abduh (XIX) who thought that the modern occidental philosophy and logic would reaffirm the Islamic doctrine instead of breaking it. There were others philosophers who thought that there could be relation between the “representative governs” and the Islam. Moreover they believed in the women emancipation and the science. They warned their society that the Koran promotes the study of the nature. The Muslims did a great scientific work and its transmission over Europe, although they stopped it. The Koran give the same rights to the women, however they have been denied in favour of men.
    Although these movements were plausible for the Koran, the fundamentalist denied these new ideas and acted as a strong opposition for several reasons:
1.    The reformers were accused to be the transmission of the occidental culture.
2.    They believe that the emancipation of the women in the occidental societies is responsible of the disintegration of the Family and it is considered as excessive.
3.    Fundamentalist does not believe in the democracy. They think that the masses have no moral responsibility.
4.    One of the most important reasons is: Some fundamentalist have a high reticence towards the occidental colonialism. It represents the evil.

    The Islamic modern history shows that there is being creating new politics movements highly tied to the religion.
This religion is always incorporating new members, most of them from black Africans and also black Americans. This is thanks to the strict sense of solidarity and its egalitarianism.




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Latest update of this page: 2005-07-15 
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