Islam as a Source of Continuity and Change in the Middle East
Islam plays an extraordinarily significant role in the fractious politics of the Middle East. Since the Prophet Muhammad was also a statesman, a diplomat, and a soldier, there emerged a powerful tradition of emulating his example, whereby rulers in the Middle East also claimed to be ‘defenders of the faith’. Even the Umayyad rulers – whose religious credentials were questionable largely because the founder of this dynasty, Muawiya, came to power by fighting a battle with Ali (the fourth Caliph of Islam, cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet), and by denying the right of Caliphate to his son, Hassan, strongly proclaimed their leadership of Islam.
KeywordsMiddle East Middle Eastern Arab World Muslim Country Middle Eastern Country
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