Understanding Islam Assignment Essay

Although Islam is the second largest religion in the world, the infamy alone is not sufficient enough for some people to change their current views of the adherents of this religion. This history of this religion is remarkable; it started out among a small population of advocates in Arabia. It did not take a long time for this religion to spread and flourish. A religion that was established in Arabia suddenly extended to the natives of Spain, Africa, and China (“Background-Two Faces of Islam”). The Muslim world expanded initially through military conquest and later through global trade. During the golden age of Islam (750-1300), Islamic civilization dominated in art, architecture, mathematics and other fields” (“Background-Two Faces of Islam”). Even when the Muslim world came under the control of the Europeans, the religion was still strong enough to sustain as a prevailing religion. The new turn of power did generate reformers such as Muhammad Ibn Saud and Muhammad Abduh.

With Abduh in particular, it was shown that faith and reason were well attuned. It was also shown that the West was not necessarily in conflict. The Muslim world established independence directly after World War II, but the establishment of Israel brought on an isolation of the Muslim world from the West. One of the causes of this seclusion was because the United States and some of its European allies supported this establishment. The establishment of Israel is not the only relationship between the United States and the Muslim world.

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At the beginning of the twenty-first century the religion of Islam gained notoriety as being a hot topical debate among secularists, civilians, political figures, and security figures of America. This was mainly due to villainous attack that took place on September 11, 2001. This attack was developed by terrorist group by the name of al Qaeda, which was led by Osama Bin Laden. “Bin Laden had fought with other Islamic militants to drive the Soviet Union from Afghanistan and then turned his attention to the United States and his former homeland after the Saudi government agreed to allow “infidel” U.

S. troops to use the country as a staging area for the 1991 Persian Gulf War” (“Background-War on Terror”). He decided to fly airplanes into the World Trade Center in New York and The Pentagon in Washington, D. C. The attack took the lives of many beloved Americans. Not only did this attack strike up debates, but it also helped with forming American views on Muslims. Many Americans have associated Muslim with the violence that took place on this day. Muslims in the United States complained of harassment and discrimination in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, despite efforts by President Bush to dispel anti-Muslim attitudes” (“Background-War on Terror”). Hate crimes against Muslims definitely began to soar. This was a racial issue as much as a religious one, considering that anyone perceived to be Arab suddenly became the enemy in the eyes of some Americans. It is hard to imagine how today’s current society would be had such Islamic associated movements had not occurred.

The U. S. foreign policy would certainly be different, as the nation would not have had troops in Afghanistan and Iraq for nearly a decade. The economy and even the president of the United States would likely be different too. History has played a key role in how Islamic faith and Muslims have changed over time. Some may consider this change the makings of an evolution, while some may consider it a downfall. One thing that is evident is the fact that it is up to Islamic believers to prove that their religion can survive and prosper.

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