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Religions of the World

Main religions of the World
• Christianity
• Catholic
• Protestant
• Orthodox

• Islam
• Sunni
• Shi’ite

• Judaism
• Buddhism
• Hinduism
Early History of Islam (610-632)
• Mohammad receives word of God
• Preaches against oppression of the poor in
Mecca
• Hegira to Medina—foundation of the
Ummah
• Victorious return to Mecca
• Caliphate founded and spreads Islam
Secularization/modernization
hypothesis

• As societies become more wealthy and
educated, belief in the supernatural or
divine diminishes
• With one major exception
The emergence of the secular
state
• America’s Ist amendment
• States with established religions, not US
• France’s secular republic
• No head scarves or large crosses at school
• Ataturk’s Turkey
• Equality of sexes formally recognized and legal system
based on Switzerland, not Islam
Islam—the Muslim Brotherhood
• 1920s Muslim Brotherhood founded in
Egypt to oppose colonialism and “back-
sliding Islam”
• Became international organization with
branches all over Arab world—Hamas,
Islamic Party, etc.
Islam: Wahhabism
• Like Muslim Brotherhood, restoring Islam
• Embraced by Saudi ruling family
• Spread by means of schools (madrassas)
and newspapers throughout middle East and
beyond
Middle School official text in Saudi
Arabia
• Teachings of the Hadith
• 1/ It's fate decided by Allah that the Muslims and Jews will fight till the end of the world.
• 2/ The Hadith predicts for the Muslims God's victory over the Jews.
• 3/ The victory for the Muslims because they are right, and who ever is right is always victorious,
even though most people are against him.
• 4/ God grants victory to the Muslims if they have a true will, if they unite, hold on to God's sharia, if
they go by God's ruling, if they are patient.
• 5/ The material strength won't be enough to warrant victory, it is necessary to invoke God seek his
support.
• 6/ . It's allowed to demolish, burn or destroy the bastions of the Kufar (infidels)- and all what
constitutes their shield from Muslims if that was for the sake of victory for the Muslims and the
defeat for the Kufar
• 7/ Jews and Christians are the enemies of believers they will never approve of the Muslims, beware
of them.

• Questions for discussion
• 1/ What was the prophecy of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) in this Hadith?
• 2/ At the end, who will be victorious?
• 3/ What should the Muslims arm themselves with against the Jews?
Taliban destroys largest Buddha in
the world
Sharia
American Protestant fundamentalism

• 1980s organizing the “Moral Majority”
• Today, opposing foreign aid with birth
control
• Supporting aid to Israel
Hindu fundamentalism
• BJP founded in 1980, and in 1990’s rose to
majority party
Israel’s fundamentalists
• Shas founded in 1987, supported by
Moroccan Jews—favors theocracy based on
Jewish law
• National Religious Party—all of Palestine
was promised to the Jews by God
Fukuyama’s “End of History” and
Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations”
• Inherent conflict between Islam and the
West?