The Early Islamic World: Faith and Exchange in the Middle East and Beyond How did Islam become a world religion? Is there one way to practice one’s faith? Is Islamic fundamentalism a pure form of Islam--or just a political movement?
In this unit, we'll research the origin of Islam and seek to understand how ancient Arabian society shaped the formation of Islam and how it later spread beyond the Arabian Peninsula. We'll examine the Qur'an as we make sense of Islam's core ideas, then test whether Fundamentalist movements today are legitimate expressions of Islam. We'll look closely at the Taliban in Pakistan where the tension between pluralism and fundamentalism, and different ways to practice the religion, is a life and death struggle. Finally, we'll look at the legacy of early Islam on Science and Gender.