Islam  

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Islam is a monotheistic religion originating with the teachings of Muhammad, a 7th-century Arab religious and political figure. The word Islam means "submission," or the total surrender of one's self to God.


"Charlemagne, without Mohammet, would be inconceivable." -- Henri Pirenne, 1922 [...]


"The Islamic Arabs developed in the course of a few years a culture which has influenced all the subsequent developments of Europe, and which, even when we allow for the cultural impulse which it inherited from Persia, was marvellous in the rapidity of its growth. Our own modern civilization has risen out of darkest barbarism in the course of three or four centuries." --The Making of Humanity (1919), Robert Briffault


"Consider the Koran... this wretched book was sufficient to start a world-religion, to satisfy the metaphysical need of countless millions for twelve hundred years, to become the basis of their morality and of a remarkable contempt for death, and also to inspire them to bloody wars and the most extensive conquests. In this book we find the saddest and poorest form of theism. Much may be lost in translation, but I have not been able to discover in it one single idea of value." --Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation#On Man's Need for Metaphysics


"Since the legalization of birth control and abortion in Europe in the late 20th century, population growth has become either small or non-existent. As a result, Europe has been allowing large numbers of people to immigrate, mostly from the Middle East and North Africa. These new immigrants have helped to make Islam a fast-growing religion in Europe, and although their numbers are still relatively small, it is speculated much of Western Europe could have an Islamic majority by the end of the 21st century. This presents difficulties for the West, since it seems most Muslim immigrants in Europe prefer their Islamic culture to Western culture, and some are violently hostile to the West. New terrorist threats have arisen from extremist European Muslims, evidenced by attacks on public transportation in Madrid and London, while in 2001 the United States suffered the worst terrorist attack in its history." --Sholem Stein, 2017


"Martin Luther King Jr., when he said 'I have a dream', everyone was listening to him, but if he [would have] said 'I have a complaint', I think no one would [have listened] to [him].", --Mustafa Cerić on European Islam, recorded in Allah in Europa, September 18, 2017[1]

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion which professes that there is only one and incomparable God (Allah) and that Muhammad is the last messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion and the fastest-growing major religion in the world, with over 1.8 billion followers or 24.1% of the global population, known as Muslims. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful, unique, and has guided mankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs. The primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, and the teachings and normative example (called the sunnah, composed of accounts called hadith) of Muhammad (c. 570–8 June 632 CE).

Muslims believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed many times before through prophets including Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Like other Abrahamic religions, Islam also teaches a final judgment with the righteous rewarded paradise and unrighteous are punished in hell. Religious concepts and practices include the five pillars of Islam, which are obligatory acts of worship, and following Islamic law, which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, from banking and welfare to women and the environment. The cities of Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem are home to the three holiest sites in Islam.

Apart from the Muslim viewpoint, Islam is believed to have originated in the early 7th century CE in Mecca, and by the 8th century the Islamic empire extended from Iberia in the west to the Indus River in the east. The Islamic Golden Age refers to the period traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 13th century when much of the historically Islamic world was experiencing a scientific, economic and cultural flourishing. The expansion of the Muslim world involved various caliphates and empires, traders and conversion to Islam by missionary activities.

Most Muslims are of one of two denominations: Sunni (75–90%) or Shia (10–20%). About 13% of Muslims live in Indonesia, the largest Muslim-majority country, 31% in South Asia, the largest population of Muslims in the world, 23% in the Middle East-North Africa, where it is the dominant religion, and 15% in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Criticism

Criticism of Islam has existed since its formative stages. Early written criticism came from Christians, before the ninth century, many of whom viewed Islam as a radical Christian heresy. Later the Muslim world itself suffered criticism. Criticism of Islam in the West was renewed after the September 11 attacks and other terrorist attacks in the early 21st century.

Objects of criticism include the morality of the life of Muhammad, the last prophet according to Islam, both in his public and personal life. Issues relating to the authenticity and morality of the Quran, the Islamic holy book, are also discussed by critics. Figures in Africa and India have described what they perceive as destruction of indigenous cultures by Islam. Other criticism focuses on the question of human rights in the Islamic world historically and in modern Islamic nations, including the treatment of women, LGBT people and religious and ethnic minorities in Islamic law and practice. In the wake of the recent multiculturalism trend, Islam's influence on the ability or willingness of Muslim immigrants to assimilate in the Western world, and other countries such as India and Russia, has been criticized.

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Islamization

Islamization (or Islamification (pejorative Muhammadization) is the process of a society's conversion to the religion of Islam. In contemporary usage, it may refer to the perceived imposition of an Islamist social and political system on a society with an indigenously different social and political background.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Islam" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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