Religion • Religion both unifies and divides the peoples within Southwest and Central Asian region. • Majority of people are Muslims. • Most belong to the Sunni Branch of Islam. • Sunni’s believe that leadership should be in the hands of the Islamic community at large. • In Iran, Iraq, and parts of Syria & Lebanon most Muslims follow the Shia branch of Islam. • Shia, or Shiites, believe that only Muhammad's descendants should lead the Islamic community.
Sharia(Islamic) Law Bell Work: What do you think this photo means or is saying? How is it ironic?
What is Sharia Law? • An Arabic word meaning path or way. • A detailed description of religious laws made my Muslim scholars 3oo years after the death of Muhammad. • It describes in detail all human acts and puts them into categories of permitted and prohibited. • It regulates the governments of Islamic states as well as their relations with non-Islamic states. • Detailed punishments for certain crimes include 100 lashes, stoning to death, beheaded, crucifixion, and even burning alive. To convert from Islam to another religion is punishable by death.
Women in Sharia Law • Men are regarded as superior, and women are seen as deficient in intelligence, morals, and religion, so they must be protected from their weaknesses.
Type of Government • Based on this information, what type of government do many of these countries have in the Middle East? • Theocracy Do You think that democracy could exist within an Islamic state? Why or why not?