Islam: A Short History Term Paper

Pages: 6 (2105 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

With so many factions disagreeing with each other, it is difficult to see how the Muslim world can ever be united in strength, and in belief.

The author illustrates that through the ages, Islam has had many diverse leaders, and has altered into several different forms. The Crusades decimated Jerusalem and the Near East, but many other Arab Muslims were unaffected, or little touched, but the Crusades, and then the Mongol invasions made Muslims feel insecure. It also made them distrust foreigners, which is not surprising, and this seems to continue to the present day. Most interesting is how the author shows how the Muslim world has been adversely affected by Western expansion and thought. She states, "The powerful Muslim world has been reduced to a dependent bloc, and Muslim society has been gravely dislocated in the course of an accelerated modernization programme. All over the world, as we have seen, people in all the major faiths have reeled under the impact of Western modernity" (Anderson 180). Probably the most important argument in the book is that the West must come to understand all other religions, including Islam, and that the core of Islam is not hostile and violent, but community oriented and peaceful. The splinter groups that advocate violence are not representative of all of Islam, and the West should not just the entire Arabic world as one, but as many, and many who want only to get along in the world.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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The book is well written, and clearly very heavily researched. The author includes, in addition to the Chronology and Glossary, a list of Key Figures in the History of Islam, an Index, and Notes on each of the chapters. It is quite clear the author understood her topic, and hoped to share this understanding with readers, so they would shed some of their misconceptions about Islam. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who wanted to know more about the Islamic faith, because it is indeed a short, concise history of the faith that is easily read and fairly easily understood. However, I would also recommend that the reader choose some other volumes from the extensive Suggested Reading list provided by the author, for more detailed analysis of certain aspects of the religion. This is an excellent overview, but because of size limitations, it certainly is not the only reference on Islam, and it should be utilized with other, more comprehensive texts.

In conclusion, this is an interesting book on religion, history, and a people of the world who are at once fascinating and frightening. It would make a fine addition to any library concerned with religion, the Muslims, or the Middle East. It certainly proves the author's thesis, that the history of the Islamic faith deserves more world attention and understanding. However, there are still questions that leave the reader wondering at the end of the book. It is quite clear the author wants the world to better understand the Muslims and their faith, but she also seems to attempt to justify some of their aspects, while noting that the West simply does not understand all the aspects of the religion, and must try harder to do so. The author is clearly an advocate of the faith, but never seems to fully explain the violence that has followed the religion throughout history, and continues even between factions in the Middle East. It leaves the reader wondering if more understanding is really the answer to the problems in the Arab world, and if, even if the West totally withdrew, if the different factions and nations would ever manage to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Islam: A Short History" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Islam: A Short History.  (2004, November 9).  Retrieved September 20, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Islam: A Short History."  9 November 2004.  Web.  20 September 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Islam: A Short History."  November 9, 2004.  Accessed September 20, 2020.