Middle East/Islam Today

Sam Carini, Chrisann Timbie

Israel and Palestine

The main location of the on going Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The conflict has been occurring for sixty seven years, with the ultimate spark of the conflict starting in 1948 when Israel was declared an independent State. This long lasting issue is mainly between Israel and Palestine, but Palestine has had a long term issue with anyone who even looks similar to the Westerners. Many Palestinian citizens believe that,"Israel has all the powers but none of the responsibilities," when referring to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. After World War II, where six million jews were killed, they felt that they needed their own country. So they decided to move back to the so called "Homeland, and birthplace of the Jewish People," which is Israel. Although the Palestinian people felt that this was unfair because the jewish people hadn't lived their in hundreds of years.In 1993, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) signed agreements that led to the withdrawal of Israeli troops from most of Gaza in 1994. Ten years later, following numerous failed peace efforts, Israel -- under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon -- announced a plan to remove all Jewish settlements and Israeli troops from Gaza by the end of 2005.

On September 11, 2005, the disengagement was complete. As CNN reported, "The Israeli flag has been lowered over Gaza, symbolizing the end of 38 years of Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory two weeks ahead of schedule." But Palestinian leaders say despite this act of symbolism, the disengagement did not end the occupation. Israel says that the steps they have taken are necessary to protect Israeli citizens from terroist attacks by Hamas, which controls palestinian life in Gaza.

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Contributions of Islam to the World

A lot of us do not know that many of the inventions we use today originated in Muslim countries. When we think coffee, the county Yemen doesn't typically come to mind when Yemen was indeed where the brew was first concocted. Around the year 1,000 doctor Al Zahrawi gave the first 1500 page description of surgery that was used for a reference for hundreds of years . The Prophet Mohammed was said to have created the first crud toothbrush in 600. They first instituted the hospital and university.The following as also considered contributions to the world: Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Geography, Physics, Chemistry, Theory of Relativity, and paper making just to name a few. Islam has long been associated with science and advancement although many people see islam as “backwards” or against advancement into the modern worlds.

1. Sterns, Olivia. "Muslim Inventions that Shaped the Modern World." Inside the Middle East.01/29/2010 http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/01/29/muslim.inventions/. 04/30/2015.

2."Contribution of Islam to the World's Civilization," IslamWeb. 07/02/2013.http://library.islamweb.net/emainpage/articles/134284/contribution-of-islam-to-the-worlds-civilization. 04/30/2015.

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Women and Islam

The stereotypical picture of a Muslim woman is a voiceless figure hidden behind a veil. Countries in the Middle East are know from their inequality of the sexes when actually, "One cannot emphasize enough the influence of the teachings of the Prophet (swa) and the verses of the Qur’an upon the advancement of civilization. In the history of humankind, none worked so much to protect human rights, especially women’s, with such integrity, strength, strategic genius, beauty and divinity, or to honor humanity, by freeing it from the chains of prejudice, manipulations, personal and social injustice." (Dr. Nahid Angha) It is the religious responsibility of men to honor, respect, and support women. But as we see today, women are denied an education, a voice, and other basic human rights. Under Islamic law, "...women have obtained the right to sell and buy properties, own business, take legal actions, vote, and participate in political affairs. Inheritance law was/is also among the most important rights." Some men have chosen to follow the laws and some have not. To put it simply, women must obey their husband in every way. It is taught that women are deficient in intelligence and religion, women are deficient in gratitude, women are deficient as witnesses, women are toys, also the husband's desires must be met at once, and obedience to the husband is the key to Paradise. Life for women if Afghanistan, Iran, Irag, and Syria is unlike anything we've ever known. In Afghanistan, more than 50% of girls are married by the age of twelve; they marry men far older than they are. Once they are married, their education stops, and 85% of women are illiterate. They risk their lives and the lives of their babies when they become pregnant. Women are hidden and isolated with few econmic activities and a limitedlegal standing.

  1. Angha, Nahid. “Women in Islam.” International Association of Sufism. https://ias.org/sufism/women-in-islam/ 04/28/2015.

  2. M. Rafiqul-Haqq and P. Newton. "The Place of Women in Pure Islam." Answering Islam. 1996. http://www.answering-islam.org/Authors/Newton/women.html. 04/29/2015.

  3. "Life as an Afghan Women." Trust in Education. 2015. http://www.trustineducation.org/resources/life-as-an-afghan-woman/ 04/30/2015

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