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Portal:Islam

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Islam (Arabic: الإسلامal-’islām, pronounced [ʔislæːm] (About this sound listen) is the religion articulated by the Qur’an, a book considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of the single incomparable God (Arabic: الله‎, Allāh), and by the Islamic prophet Muhammad's demonstrations and real-life examples (called the Sunnah, collected through narration of his companions in collections of Hadith). The word Islam, a triliteral of the word salaam, is a homograph, having multiple meanings, including peace and surrender (to God). Adherents are known as Muslims, which is the active participle of the verb of which Islām is the infinitive. Muslims regard their religion as the completed and universal version of a monotheistic faith revealed at many times and places before, including, notably, to the prophets Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Islamic tradition holds that previous messages and revelations have been changed and distorted over time. Religious practices include the Five Pillars of Islam, which are five duties that unite Muslims into a community. Islamic law (Arabic: شريعة Šarīʿah) touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, encompassing everything from dietary laws and banking to warfare, welfare, and Jihad. Almost all Muslims belong to one of two major denominations, the Sunni (87-90%) and Shi'a (10-13%). Islam is the predominant religion in much of Africa, the Middle East and major parts of Asia. Large communities are also found in China, Russia and the Caribbean. Converts and immigrant communities are found in almost every part of the world. With 1.57 billion Muslims (see Islam by country), Islam is the second-largest religion in the world and arguably the fastest growing religion in the world.

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Map shows colored matrix of republication (blue) & violence (red)
The Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy began after twelve editorial cartoons, most of which depicted the Islamic prophet Muhammad, were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten on 30 September 2005. The newspaper announced that this publication was an attempt to contribute to the debate regarding criticism of Islam and self-censorship. Danish Muslim organizations, who objected to the depictions, responded by holding public protests attempting to raise awareness of Jyllands-Posten's publication. The controversy deepened when further examples of the cartoons were reprinted in newspapers in more than fifty other countries. This led to protests across the Muslim world, some of which escalated into violence with police firing on the crowds (resulting in more than 100 deaths, altogether), including setting fire to the Norwegian and Danish Embassies in Syria, storming European buildings, and desecrating the Danish, Norwegian and German flags in Gaza City. While a number of Muslim leaders called for protesters to remain peaceful, other Muslim leaders across the globe, including Mahmoud al-Zahar of Hamas, issued death threats. Various groups, primarily in the Western world, responded by endorsing the Danish policies, including "Buy Danish" campaigns and other displays of support for free speech in Denmark. Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen described the controversy as Denmark's worst international crisis since World War II.

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Mohammed Alim Khan, Emir of Bukhara, 1911
Credit: Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii

An early colour photograph of the Emir of Bukhara, Mohammed Alim Khan, in 1911, taken by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii as part of his work to document the Russian Empire from 1909 to 1915. Alim Khan, a direct descendant of Genghis Khan, was the last emir of the Manghit dynasty. He reigned from 1911 to 1920, fleeing to Afghanistan when the Bolsheviks annexed Bukhara and proclaimed the Bukharan People's Republic.

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Ziaur Rahman was the 6th President of Bangladesh
Ziaur Rahman was the 6th President of Bangladesh and founder of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. While an officer in the Pakistan Army, Zia's unit captured the Kalurghat radio station at the onset of the Bangladesh Liberation War and declared the independence of Bangladesh. Recognised as a war hero, he would be honoured with the Bir Uttom in 1972. A high-ranking officer in the Bangladesh Army, Zia was appointed chief of army staff following the Assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975. Although briefly overthrown in a coup d'etat, Zia returned to power in a counter-coup organised by Colonel Abu Taher. Declaring himself president in 1977, Zia won a referendum held in 1978. Founding the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, Zia won widespread popular support for stabilising the nation and leading it in a new direction. A right-wing politician, Zia established free-market policies in a 19-point programme of industrialisation and development. He adopted policies bringing the government increasingly under Islam, which he included in the national constitution. Zia controversially pardoned the assassins of Sheikh Mujib by signing the Indemnity Act and rehabilitated individuals who had supported the Pakistan Army. A popular yet controversial leader, Zia was assassinated in 1981 in an abortive military coup.

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al-Azhar Mosque

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Arnold Toynbee
The extinction of race consciousness as between Muslims is one of the outstanding achievements of Islam, and in the contemporary world there is, as it happens, a crying need for the propagation of this Islamic virtue.

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