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Middle East/SE Ethnic Groups. Standards:. SS7G8 The student will describe the diverse cultures of the people who live in Southwest Asia. SS7G8c Compare and contrast the prominent religions in Southwest Asia (Middle East): Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.

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middle east se ethnic groups
Middle East/SE Ethnic Groups

Standards:

SS7G8 The student will describe the diverse cultures of the people who live in Southwest Asia.

SS7G8c Compare and contrast the prominent religions in Southwest Asia (Middle East): Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.

SS7G8d Explain the reason for the division between Sunni and Shia Muslims.

SS7G8a Explain the differences between an ethnic group and a religious group.

SS7G8b Explain the diversity of religions within the Arabs, Persians, and Kurds.

enduring understanding
Enduring Understanding

Cultural and religious divisions affect the development of a region.

Why did Islam split into two sects, and how has that split affected the people of the Middle East?

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SS7G8c Compare and contrast the prominent religions in Southwest Asia (Middle East): Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.

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Section 4

Birthplace of Three Religions

Southwest Asia was the birthplace of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

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SECTION

4

Birthplace of Three Religions

Three Religions

Jerusalem

• City has been home for centuries to Jews, Christians, Muslims

• Each group believes in only one god—monotheism

- Sumerians, Egyptians believe in many gods—polytheism

• Each religion was begun by single person, has sacred writings

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SECTION

4

Abraham and the Origin of Judaism

Yahweh and Abraham

• Hebrews, first monotheists, believe Yahweh spoke to Abraham

- has him leave Mesopotamian Ur, settle in Canaan (now Israel)

• Abraham’s descendants are Jews; religion is Judaism

Continued . . .

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SECTION

4

continuedAbraham and the Origin of Judaism

How Judaism Adapted over Time

• In 586 B.C., Babylonians destroy Jews’ First Temple in Jerusalem

- Jews are exiled to Babylon

• Persians take over Mesopotamia 50 years later

- Jews return to Jerusalem, rebuild Temple

• Jerusalem, Temple destroyed when Jews fight Roman rule in A.D. 66

• Most Jews live outside Jerusalem for next 1,800 years

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SECTION

4

Jesus and the Birth of Christianity

Early Life

• Around 8 to 4 B.C., Jewish boy Jesus born in Bethlehem, Palestine

• According to Bible’s Gospels, written decades after his death:

- grew up in Galilee, baptized at age 30 by cousin John the Baptist

- for 3 years, preaches love, forgiveness; performs miracles

- 12 disciples, other followers believe he is Jewish Messiah—savior

- called Christ—Greek for messiah; followers called Christians

Continued . . .

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4

continuedJesus and the Birth of Christianity

Final Days

• Some government, religious leaders feel Jesus, followers are threat

- in Jerusalem, Jesus betrayed by disciple, Judas Iscariot

- arrested, tried, crucified; disciples believe he was resurrected

Beginnings of Christianity

• Disciples spread Jesus’ teachings and belief he was Jewish Messiah

• Christianity develops from Jewish roots, spreads around world

• Today, few Christians live in Southwest Asia

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4

Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam

The Region’s Third Monotheistic Religion

• Muhammad born in Mecca around A.D. 570

- founder of Islam—religion with one god, whose prophet is Muhammad

- Muslim—believer in Islam

• Muslims believe that around 610, Muhammad is commanded by a voice

Continued . . .

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4

continuedMuhammad, the Prophet of Islam

Muhammad’s Teachings

• Muhammad believes angel Gabriel tells him the will of God

- Gabriel sends him revelations over next 22 years

• Revelations later collected into Qur’an—sacred text of Islam

• Muhammad shares divine messages, criticizes rich of Mecca

• Mecca’s leaders try to kill Muhammad

• In 622, Muhammad, followers escape to nearby Medina

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Section 5

Muslim Empires

Islamic beliefs and culture spread out Southwest Asia and much of the world

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SECTION

5

Chart

Muslim Empires

The Five Pillars of Islam

Religious Duties

• Five Pillars of Islam—Muslims’ important religious duties

- these duties unite Muslims around the world

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SECTION

5

Muslim Empires

Conquest, Trade, and Learning

• After Muhammad’s death, a caliph is chosen to succeed him

• Caliphs form caliphate—empire—as theocracy, ruled by religious leader

• Caliphate’s vast trading system spreads Islamic ideas, artwork

• In early Middle Ages, Muslims save important books, papers

- preserve ancient world’s knowledge, later studied by Europeans

Islam in Europe

• Muslims conquer Spain, but stopped in 732 at Tours by Charles Martel

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jerusalem
JERUSALEM:

The Old City includes sites sacred to three religions. Muslims revere the Dome of the Rock, built over the rock from which Muhammad made a night journey to heaven. The Wailing Wall, all that remains of the ancient Temple

of Solomon, is sacred to the Jews. The Christian Church of the Holy Sepulcher marks the spot where Jesus Christ is believed to have been buried after his crucifixion.

how are ethnic and religious groups different

Religious groups share a common belief system, but are not necessarily composed of a single ethnic group.

How are ethnic and religious groups different?

Ethnic groups share many common characteristics, such as language, physical appearance, customs, and traditions.

share examples
Share Examples

Share examples of different religions and how these include different ethnic groups.

Students should understand that ethnic groups and religious groups are not defined by political borders.

ethnic groups language groups
ETHNIC GROUPS/LANGUAGE GROUPS

Language is the principle criterion for defining ethnic groups.  Arabic is the national language of most of the countries of the Middle East and is spoken by about half the population of the region. Speaking Arabic is the hallmark of being an Arab since it is the language of the Koran, the holy book of the Muslims.  However, many other ethnic and language groups exist in the Middle East other than Arabic.  These include Hebrew, spoken by approximately 4 million people and includes mainly the Jews of Israel; Altaic Turkic Languages such as Turkish, spoken in Turkey; Azeri, spoken in northwestern Iran; Indo-European Languages such as Farsi (Persian), the primary language of Iran, Kurdish, spoken in Kurdistan, Armenian at the junction of Turkey and Iran;  and Berber which is  spoken by many millions of North Africans.

religion
RELIGION

The overwhelming majority of the people in the Middle East are Muslims (followers of the Islam).  Within the Muslim religion there are various sects.  Major divisions of  include the Sunni, Shiite, and Druze sects. However, other religions are also represented in the Middle East.  One obvious exception to the Muslim majority in Middle Eastern countries are the Jews of Israel. Also, there are Christian minorities in several countries.  In Egypt, there are the Coptic Christians who kept their original faith after the Muslims conquered their country.  In Lebanon and Syria there are Orthodox Christians and also Roman Catholics and Protestant Christians, who were converted by missionaries from Europe and the United States.

sources of religious conflict
Sources of Religious Conflict

Among all the peoples of the Middle East, religious differences contribute to conflict. Jews and Arabs claim holy sites in Jerusalem. Religious conflicts between Christians and Muslims have erupted in Egypt, Lebanon, and Sudan. Conflicts also occur within religions.

sunni and shia muslims
Sunni and Shia Muslims
  • SS7G8d Explain the reason for the division between Sunni and Shia Muslims.
two muslims groups
Two Muslims Groups

Sunnis and Shi’ites Islam, for example, has two main sects, or groups—Sunnis (SUN•eez) and Shi’ites (SHEE•YTS). Most Muslims in the region are Sunni. In Iran, however, most people

belong to the Shi’a branch of Islam. Shi’ites are more willing than the Sunni to accept religious leaders as political leaders. This difference has contributed to conflict between neighboring

Iran and Iraq. The most powerful Iraqis are Sunni.

reason for division
Reason for Division

The reason for division between Sunni and Shia Muslims is based on the issue of

a. the issue of women’s rights within the religion

b. who should control the natural resources of the region

c. who should succeed Muhammad as leader or caliph after his death

d. where the geographic center of the Islamic world should be located

arabs persians and kurds
Arabs, Persians, and Kurds
  • SS7G8b Explain the diversity of religions within the Arabs, Persians, and Kurds.
conflict between ethnic groups
Conflict Between Ethnic Groups

Trouble also occurs when different ethnic groups come into conflict. For example, like most people in the region, Iraqis are descendants of Arabs who spread out from the Arabian Peninsula in the 600’s. Most Iranians, however, are Persian, people originally from Central Asia who have lived on the Iranian plateau for 3,000 years. Arabs and Persians have different histories and speak different languages. These differences contribute to conflicts between Iran and Iraq.

kurds
Kurds
  • Most Kurds are found in the mountainous areas where Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq come together.
  • They speak their own language called Kurdish, and have a separate history, literature, music, and set of traditions.
  • Many Kurds hope to have a nation of their own some day, a hope that has caused conflict with the countries in which Kurdish people live.
  • Most Kurds are Sunni Muslim with small minorities of Shia Muslims and Yazidis.

Women, in traditional Kurdish dress, dance during a wedding party in what they hope to one day be called Kurdistan.

persians
Persians
  • Most Persians live in the modern country of Iran where they are the most populous ethnic group.
  • They are different from Arabs and Jews in that their ancestors came from Central Europe and Southern Russia
  • The country of Persia became known as Iran after WWI.
  • Persians speak Farsi, a language that uses the Arabic alphabet but is actually spoken differently.
  • Most Persians are Shia Muslims even though Shia Muslims only make up about 15% of the world’s Muslim population.
  • Zoroastrianism is one of the minor religions of the Persian people.

Persian family from northern Iran

arabs
Arabs
  • Arabs are the most populous ethnic group in the Middle East.
  • Arabs believe themselves to be descendants of Abraham through his son Ishmael and originally from the Arabian Peninsula.
  • They speak Arabic.
  • Most Arabs are Muslims, with the majority being Sunni Muslim. However, there are many Christian Arabs as well, especially in the countries of Lebanon and Egypt.

Arabs escape the Gaza strip into Egypt for much needed supplies.

conflict between ethnic groups1
Conflict Between Ethnic Groups

Trouble also occurs when different ethnic groups come into conflict. For example, like most people in the region, Iraqis are descendants of Arabs who spread out from the Arabian Peninsula in the 600s. Most Iranians, however, are Persian, people originally from Central Asia who have lived on the Iranian plateau for 3,000 years. Arabs and Persians have different histories and speak different languages. These differences contribute to conflicts between Iran and Iraq.

vocabulary
Vocabulary
  • Arab: ethnic group located in the Middle East and North Africa; language spoken is Arabic
  • Caliph: title used by rulers of the Muslim community from 632-1924
  • Kurd: an ethnic group that lives in the mountainous regions of Armenia, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon,
  • Syria, and turkey; most are Sunni Muslims; Kurds do not have their own state/country
  • Persian: ethnic group located primarily in Iran (Iran was formally the Persian Empire)
  • Religious Group: people who identify closely with a set of beliefs that influence their culture. Example: Christians and Muslims appeal to many different ethnic groups, whereas, Judaism is mostly associated with ethnic Jews.
  • Shia: The Shiites believed that Mohammad had designated Ali as his successor and spiritual heir. There are two important aspects here. First, the idea that Mohammad's heir should be from Mohammad's family. Second, that unlike the Sunnis, the successor should be a religious and political leader.
  • Sunni: 80%-85% of Muslims are Sunnis, Sunnis believe that Mohammad did not appoint a successor (replacement), and therefore one had to be appointed by the Muslims themselves. This led to the establishment of the Caliphate, a series of men who took over Mohammad's worldly power, but who made no claim to be Mohammad's spiritual successor.