Western fears of 'Islamism' have been aided by Arab autocrats seeking to prolong their iron-fisted rule.
By Mohammed Khan, a political analyst based in the UAE.
The views expressed in this article are the author's own
and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2011 08:10 GMT
"Islamism" has been sending jitters through Western political corridors over recent years readily aided and abetted by Arab autocrats who have exaggerated and
harnessed the "Islamist" threat to prolong their iron-fisted rule.
In the case of Egypt, the biggest bogeyman in this long-running battle over political supremacy with the state is the Muslim Brotherhood (the Ikhwan al-Muslimun) whose influence extends across the Arab and Islamic world.
It's a story you've likely never heard. It is a story told through the faces of Albanian Muslims who risked their own lives to live by a code of faith and honor called Besa.
By Leisa Zigman
A video is present on this URL which is very much worth looking at.
The oldest independent state in the Arab world, Oman is one of the more traditional countries in the Gulf region and was, until the 1970s, one of the most isolated.
This section provides "just the facts" on Islam in a quick, at-a-glance format. Here you can get a general sense of the Muslim faith before exploring it in greater depth, get the basics in order to compare Islam to other religions, study for a test on Islam, or just learn something new. For the basics in paragraph form, see Overview of Islam.
Important note: Muslim beliefs differ between sects and individual believers. Those listed below are believed by the majority of Muslims, but not all.
Islam is the second largest religion in the world after Christianity. As a monotheistic faith that originated in the Middle East, Islam holds many beliefs and practices in common with Judaism and Christianity.
Judaism, Islam and Christianity are collectively known as "Abrahamic religions" because they trace their history to the covenant God made with Abraham in the Hebrew Bible.
The Prophet Muhammad met both Jews and Christians during his lifetime, and Islam has come into frequent contact with both of its fellow monotheistic faiths throughout most of its history.
Stephen Bates explains the basics to non-Muslims with little previous knowledge. From Islam For Today
Origins Islam is the religion of allegiance to God and his prophet Mohammed, who lived around 570-632 and came from a family of traders at Mecca. The religion's book of revelation, mediated by the prophet, is the Koran. The word Islam derives from the same semitic root as the Hebrew word Shalom, which means peace. Islam means "entering into a condition of peace and security with God, through allegiance or surrender to him".