The word Islam connotes peace and denotes submission, namely to the will of God. This religion welled-up in the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century AD long before oil. Muslims are known for their concept of holy war, for assigning inferior status to women and permitting polygamy, and for prohibiting pork and alcohol. They are known for their mystics, the Sufis, who absorb themselves in identification with God and for their legalism, as in the pious scholar who would not eat a watermelon because he could not determine from scripture how the Prophet would have done so. There never has been a tradition of separation between mosque and state in Islam, and specific political commitments are normal for their religious leaders.


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