Lesson 4: The Umma: The People of the Muslim World
Big Ideas addressed in this lesson:
The political and religious aspects of life in Islamic society, up to and including the modern period, have been intertwined.
Muslims, in the modern period in particular, struggle with the notion of authority: who decides what can and cannot be done in the name of Islam and who deserves to authority to interpret Islams sacred texts.
Questions addressed in this lesson:
Why do some Muslims choose to serve Allah through violence?
What similarities exist between Islam and Judaism?
What is the relationship between Muslims and Jews (and people of other religions) according to Muslim thought?
Where does Islam see itself in relationship to Judaism and other religions?
How do the political roots of Islam affect the religious practice of Islam?
How do Muslims in countries that separate religion and state understand themselves as Muslims? (Or: What is their relationship to the country in which they live?)